Zero-Tolerance In Public Schools

1537 Words 7 Pages
Schools have attempted different models to reduce violence in schools and create a safe atmosphere. One such model is the zero-tolerance policy, which began in the 1980s during the war on drugs. This policy morphed during the 1990s to include other student behaviors including threats and violence (Teske, 2011). In fact, all primary and secondary schools in the United States were required to implement zero-tolerance policies to continue receiving federal funding (Mongan & Walker, 2012). Unfortunately, this program has seen similar issues as profiling such as “school to prison pipeline” for minority students and students with emotional behavior disorders who may pose no risk.
Another issue for zero-tolerance policies is the
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However, the way they are set up is as a set of consequences for breaking school rules, which is more of a wait-and-see approach. Students must commit an act in violation of the policy before they see the policy enacted. In addition, zero-tolerance policies do not consider the individual students behavior in context of the situation (Cornell 2001). Zero-tolerance policies are simply another form of profiling in that they are identifying a broad range of characteristics and not on a student’s threatening behavior. Overall, zero-tolerance policies do not appear to offer the intended solutions to keep students safe. When speaking of creating safe schools and determining threats, schools may find other programs that work in identifying behavior before it happens, and based on a student’s own behavior, to be more …show more content…
The overarching goals of threat assessment is not just to keep schools safe, but to also help those who may be at risk of violent behavior as well as their targets. Another consideration for schools to consider is the lawsuits that tend to follow school shootings (Simpson, 2000). In fact, Colorado has enacted Senate Bill 15-213 that allows for compensation to families who sue if the school failed to take the necessary actions to prevent the violence (DiRenzo, 2016). It is also necessary for those involved in threat assessments in the schools to be aware of the law regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regarding documentation (Nolan & Moncure, 2012). FERPA protects the privacy of student records maintained at schools. School personnel should be aware of what exceptions are in the regulation regarding when a school can disclose a student’s records without consent. It would be detrimental if a disclosure of records occurred unnecessarily or not shared for fear of violating

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