Are zero tolerance policies a broken system in schools?
Debate Rounds (3)
Con: are making schools more secure and safe.
Pro: are causing more harm than good.
R1: Acceptance and CON's first argument
R2: PRO's and CON's rebuttals and arguments
R3: PRO's and CON's rebuttals and closing arguments
I'm new at starting debates here, so hopefully this structure makes sense.
Let's take a look at the definition of a 'zero tolerance policy', specifically in the academic environment:
'A zero-tolerance policy in schools is a policy of punishing any infraction of a rule, regardless of accidental mistakes, ignorance, or extenuating circumstances.' It's pretty straight forward that we can say that, in other words, those in school can be punished for breaking a rule, no matter what the circumstances, reasons, or present evidence are.
Now let's take a look at the reason(s) why zero tolerance policies in schools exist:
'In schools, Zero Tolerance refers to the concept that certain types of disciplinary offenses will not be tolerated and automatically result in suspension or expulsion. In 1994, after horrific incidents of school violence like that which happened in Columbine, Colorado, the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 was passed, requiring all states to create laws mandating expulsion for students in possession of guns on school property. The intent of Zero Tolerance policies is to promote an atmosphere of safety, to deter other students from committing similar actions and to recognize and provide assistance to students who show signs of being capable of widespread acts of violence.'
So we can see that these policies were originally for intent of keeping the academic environment free of gun possession on students and the prevention of violence. However, being that zero tolerance policies have been including drug use, possession of any weapon on campus, and bullying, that is really where trouble has truly come.
The position I take is where zero tolerance policies have become so inflexible that any form of possible criminal intent made by students, whether it be by eating a pastry into the shape of a gun (http://www.nydailynews.com...) or for possession of a paper gun (http://www.infowars.com...), it must be accounted as criminal activity and can result in suspension and expulsion. Schools and faculty are treating kids and teenagers like criminals without reason to justify a more debatable and reasonable consequence, let alone if there was no violent intent present in the slightest. Because of only a few people who have decided to act out on violence in schools, notably Columbine, arrests, trials, and lawsuits are being made because faculty and state government choose to cover all acts of 'malicious intent' to be reasonable for such harsh penalties and consequences that damage student reputations who are not violent in the slightest,
I await your rebuttal, and please be serious.
 - http://en.wikipedia.org...(schools)
 - http://childparenting.about.com...
Ok, now let's see why yo @ss is saying the "zero tolerance rule is bad." You are a boy who still like to rub his titties at night to comfort yourself. At school you are an outcast and you are looked down upon. You make other people recognize you by getting in trouble. This was a good plan for a while until you done messed up Aaron. You did the deed that broke the camel's back. You took pics of your penls and posted it on yo facebook account. It wasn't untl recently you were kicked out of schoool. Now you made an argument about this shyt cus yo @ss be in trouble. By the way my real make is Katie Brown from room 301. I use to see you at school until you got kicked out.
'First let's us understand why the zero intolerance rule is even placed into the school system. It is to ensure that those who ought to make mistakes be punished in front of those who didn't. This is to prove a fkin example so that others may not ever do it again.'
You seem to have completely ignored the 2 quotes that I had given reference to in R2, In a nutshell, it is a policy used to discipline students suspected of criminal activity, notably through firearms, and to have them receive harsh punishment in response to such a situation, regardless of intent and available evidence. It has absolutely nothing to do with people who made such mistakes to be punished in front of anyone who didn't, except for say.....administration, police, and the court of law. I assume you meant 'anyone who didn't' as other students and faculty, but I could be wrong.
'Ok, now let's see why yo @ss is saying the "zero tolerance rule is bad." You are a boy who still like to rub his titties at night to comfort yourself. At school you are an outcast and you are looked down upon. You make other people recognize you by getting in trouble. This was a good plan for a while until you done messed up Aaron. You did the deed that broke the camel's back. You took pics of your penls and posted it on yo facebook account. It wasn't untl recently you were kicked out of schoool. Now you made an argument about this shyt cus yo @ss be in trouble. By the way my real make is Katie Brown from room 301. I use to see you at school until you got kicked out.'
I have absolutely no idea how this has relevance to anything that was discussed, and you seem to not be taking this debate seriously, as it appears to be present in other debates I've seen you active in. I do not know who 'Aaron' or 'Katie' are, so such assumptions have absoultely no place in such a debate, and it is obvious that you are trying to spawn a radically-sensitive reaction.
I rest my case.
Automatic expulsions for students who threaten or commit acts of school violence may be politically popular, but research raises questions about the policy"s effectiveness.
University of Virginia professor Dewey Cornell finds that careful assessment and measured action is a more effective response to school violence than a one-size-fits-all, zero-tolerance approach.
Cornell says the study reveals students in schools that used a strategy to evaluate the seriousness of school violence, instead of automatic expulsion, are more likely to receive more appropriate responses for their actions, such as mental health counseling or parent conferences. The students also are less likely to receive long-term suspensions or transfers to other schools.
Although threat assessment is a widely recommended practice to prevent school violence"as well as workplace violence"according to Cornell, "to my knowledge, it is the first randomized, controlled trial of threat assessment of any kind," he adds.
Cornell"s research, published in the March issue of School Psychology Review, tested his Virginia Student Threat Assessment Guidelines, which offer a roadmap for school professionals to evaluate the seriousness of threats of violence made in schools.
"Threat assessment allows school administrators to return to the philosophy that the punishment should fit the crime, and that the school"s response to a student should be based on the seriousness of the threat, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach that you see with "zero tolerance,"" Cornell says.
According to Cornell, director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project, severe acts of violence in school are relatively rare, but threats of violence are much more common and pose a serious problem for schools in the United States.
The widely used practice of automatic suspension increases the risk for academic failure and does not seem to improve student behavior, Cornell adds.
"Our research has shown that schools which rely the most on suspension have the highest dropout rates," he says. "We know that suspension has deleterious effects on students and is counterproductive to our goal of helping them complete their education."
Threat assessment can actually help identify underlying problems, such as bullying or conflicts in friendships and romantic relationships, Cornell notes. In other cases, there are disputes with teachers, learning problems or other difficulties that need attention.
"Schools using threat assessment showed a 79 percent reduction in bullying infractions and a 52 percent reduction in long-term suspensions," Cornell says.
"Sometimes this kind of student behavior may point to stressful circumstances leading to emotional distress, anger and depression. As a result, one goal of threat assessment is to initiate appropriate mental health counseling services for the student."
The study was conducted in 40 elementary, middle, and high schools in Newport News, Virginia. Schools that received staff training in threat assessment showed large changes in staff understanding of the risk of student violence as well as changes in their attitudes toward zero tolerance and the use of suspension.
The schools were then followed for one school year. During this time, school authorities identified 201 students as making a threat of violence. Those students who were in schools using the Virginia Guidelines were four times more likely to receive counseling services and 2.5 times more likely to have a parent conference to resolve the problem or conflict associated with the student"s threat.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: CONDUCT: PLAGIARISM in final round, plus before that all Con did was make personal attacks in the form of unbacked assertions against pro, rather than presenting his own case or even trying to refute pro's points, example " You are a boy who still like to rub his titties at night to comfort yourself. At school you are an outcast and you are looked down upon." S&G: Con was basically unreadable, "Hell no it aint. Yo @ss is more broken then this zero tolerance shyt." ARGUMENTS: "eating a pastry into the shape of a gun" being included in zero tolerance policies, pretty well seals the deal. SOURCES: This would not tip in pro's favor by enough to claim the point, except con gave no credit to the source he PLAGIARIZED.
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