The Instigator
Stefy
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
PaigeZ
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Should schools implement zero tolerance policies?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Stefy
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/22/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 981 times Debate No: 63743
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

Stefy

Con

The reason that zero tolerance policies should not exist is because they allow administrators to not have to make a human judgement about situations that take place at their school. For example, the many cases one sees on the news about a child being harshly disciplined for bringing a toy gun to school or a case of a Jeffersonville, Indiana student being suspended for touching pills while saying no to a friend who was trying to get her to take them. While zero tolerance policies are intended to ensure that things like drugs and guns are off school campuses, the way they are being implemented is just so that administrators can avoid controversy by never having to make a human judgement no matter the situation
PaigeZ

Pro

I believe the zero tolerance policy should be implemented because there is an equality in it. Say the little kid who brought the toy gun to school was given a 3 day suspension, but the girl who touched the pills but didn't take them got a warning. The parents would argue that their son is a little kid who plays with toys and didn't know what the was doing while kids are told not to do nor touch drugs/pills/alcohol. The schools use the zero tolerance for a reason.
Debate Round No. 1
Stefy

Con

My point is that the kid with the toy gun should not be getting the three day suspension and neither should the girl saying no to drugs. If you used human judgement in oth cases, logic and common sense would lead you to realize that suspending either of those student would be completely unnecessary. Zero tolerance policies do make all the punishment for any infraction involving drugs/guns equal, but the issue is that not all the infractions are equal. Human judgement and logic is necessary in induvidual cases. With the policy in place,administrators do not have to examine individual cases nearly to the extent that they should be.
Additionally, there is little reason for zero policies to even exist. It is not as though if they didn't exist that legitamate gun and drug offenses would be tolorated. All that is truly accomplished with these policies in bringing down the hammer where it is unnessasary to do so. Dropping zero tolorance policies would force administrators to critically think about how they run their institution where disciplinary policy is concerned.
PaigeZ

Pro

You're not being clear. You're saying that there should be no zero tolerance policy and that kids shouldn't be expelled. How are they supposed to know to do the right thing. The girl shouldn't have even touched the pills in the first place, she should have just told a teacher about it. The parents should monitor what their kids are taking to school, but the kids should also know not to take guns (even if they are toys) to school. We live in a generation where young kids are exposed to violence, sex, drugs, and alcohol. Maybe if it were a different time when kids didn't use drugs or drink alcohol then I would agree with you, but it's not. I see the same kids come down to the office every other week for drugs and the only reason they aren't in everyday is the zero tolerance policy. In fact I think the zero tolerance policy should be stronger because these kids are just wasting the times of the teachers, principles, and the other students. My neighbor was in and out of jail and was called down to the office often but yet he was never expelled. He is a prime example. A kid in middle school brought a real gun to school and showed it to people. Another kid brought bullets. Another one made a hit list. Another made multiple bomb threats that caused the high school to evacuate and send everyone home early for 4 days. Do you really expect the principles decisions to be different than the zero tolerance policy for these kids.
Debate Round No. 2
Stefy

Con

I am not saying that people should not be expelled or disciplined. Cases of students with actual guns should be severely punished. I am not against discipline, I'm against a policy that allows administrators to not have to think about cases individually. Kids should not be punished at the same severity for toy guns and real guns or touching pills and taking or selling them. Gun violence and student drug abuse are both huge problems amd should be taken with the upmost seriousness, but that doesnt call for throwing away all logic and reasoning. On top of that, there is also no solid or credible evidence to show that the zero tolorence policy actually reduces instances if violence or drug abuse. (Skiba 2000). Zero tolorence policies are so ineffective because students do not report people they know because they no that extenuating circumstances will not be taken into account. Extenuating circumstances are taken into account in an actual court of law, so why not in our school? I am not saying that excuses should be accepted, but I do nit think it is a radical thing to ask that the facts of the case actually be considered.
PaigeZ

Pro

Zero tolerance policies are also in place another important reason. It protects schools from lawsuits as quoted here
"The policies came about partly because schools faced lawsuits charging that principals disciplined unequally based on race or other factors"
Another website quotes "Some supporters also argue that the mass publicizing of examples of unfairness serves the schools' purpose by frightening students into conformity instead of galvanizing them into resistance. The policy assumption is that inflexibility is a deterrent because, no matter how or why the rule was broken, the fact that the rule was broken is the basis for the imposition of the penalty."
Another website states "Proponents of the Zero Tolerance Policy say that disruptive students should be removed, enabling teachers to devote more time to teaching, rather than trying to maintain order in their classrooms. They also state that having clear guidelines and swift, firm consequences for violations helps to deter disruptive behavior and violence, thereby promoting a more conducive environment for learning."
Another one states "Several years ago, prior to graduation of a large private school, a young lady was kicked out of school for drug use, three months before she was to graduate. The reason was because this school has a "Zero-Tolerance" drug policy and this student violated it. You may say that this was cruel. Well, it was, especially for the student who got kicked out of school. However, she knew the policy, as did all the rest of the students. As we all know, word has a way of getting around very quickly and the remaining members of the graduating class, as well as all future students, understand that their actions and behavior do have consequences."
Yes, zero tolerance policies may be cruel sometimes, but again they are there for a reason. Those students who get expelled or suspended for things like touching pills are disciplined like that for a reason. As the second quote states it doesn't matter how the rule was broken, whether it be big or little, the rule was broken. They are examples to their peers showing that even the slightest broken rule will have consequences.
Good job and good luck :)
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Stefy 2 years ago
Stefy
yep
Posted by ShikenNuggets 2 years ago
ShikenNuggets
Just to be clear, you are AGAINST zero tolerance policies?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
StefyPaigeZTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro, defend your arguments. You keep jumping ship and moving on to new ones, which would have been fine if a) all of your best supported ones didn't come up in the last round where they can receive no response, and b) weren't quoted from uncited materials. You end up plagiarizing by failing to post those links, since you may not be representing them as your own material, but you're still failing to give credit. Con's case is overly general without any evidence of harms, but Pro accepts that those harms exist without a fight, and then makes a bunch of claims that Con adequately refuted. I never see any attack on Con's logic, and that leads to him claiming the debate. Conduct to Con as well due to the plagiarism issue and last round arguments, sources to no one as Con also incorrectly cited (an author and year aren't enough). Both sides had numerous S&G issues.