“Across the country, schools are moving away from zero tolerance and trying to reduce the number of students they’re suspending. The turnaround is a response to a growing body of research showing that zero-tolerance policies resulted in a disproportionate number of kids of color suspended, expelled, and referred to law enforcement.”
Every school should have a behaviour policy that is rational, flexible and simple enough to cater for all students. Many work on the basis of a ‘Ready, Respectful, Safe’ (RRS) methodology which is simple and offers clarity for everyone.
RRS isn’t complicated because behaviour management doesn’t have to be.
In schools with over-complicated policies, teachers are often confused by the rules and what to do. Heavyweight policies end up punishing teachers because they add more players of stress and workload.
If a school promotes a ‘zero tolerance’, how confident are these institutions helping young people learn from their mistakes? How do their permanent exclusion figures read?Every school should have a behaviour policy which promotes learning and aims to cull disruption or defiance.
At their annual conference, the NUT section of the National Education Union (NEU) voiced concerns about zero tolerance and the state of children’s mental health saying that zero tolerance was an “abuse” of their rights.
Zero tolerance policies come at a huge social cost as they are contributing to high exclusions, and in some cases a ‘meteroic‘ rise. We therefore need to stop tolerating zero tolerance.
Zero Tolerance – it doesn’t work!
To say you have a ‘zero tolerance’ approach, is just lip-service for parents and visitors.It’s the same when a school says it is ‘inclusive’. Every school requires students to learn in a safe and respectful environment.
“Zero tolerance has not been shown to improve school climate or school safety. Its application in suspension and expulsion has not proven an effective means of improving student behavior. It has not resolved, and indeed may have exacerbated, minority overrepresentation in school punishments. Zero tolerance policies as applied appear to run counter to our best knowledge of child development.”