The Instigator
Officialjake
Pro (for)
Losing
11 Points
The Contender
Valtarov
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

The "zero tolerance" policy in schools is not just and should be removed

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Valtarov
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/8/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 12,221 times Debate No: 12291
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

Officialjake

Pro

The "Zero Tolerance policy is unjust and unfair. It does not allow due process witch is a right given to us in our bill of rights. We have all heard the stories of children in elementary school who are suspended or expelled for acts that aren't even worth punishment. Such as the 3rd grader the held a chicken finger like a gun pointed it at his teacher and said "pow". He was suspended on the zero tolerance policy for weapons. One time a principle ordered a SWAT raid on his school. Dozens of officers armed with shotguns and pistols stormed into the school and handcuffed the students of the high school supposedly to find narcotics but none were found. Also the elementary student who shot a spit ball at another student in response the school notified the police. Later that night the police arrived at the students house saying they were investigating a shooting when it was actually just a spit wad. This policy was intended to protect our students but instead it is clearly abusing them and should be removed from schools' policies. I will state more of my main points and evidence in round two.
Valtarov

Con

Thanks to Officialjake for one of my two simultaneous first debates on this site.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
First, I will make my own case, then I will address my opponent's case.

Since my opponent has defined no clear thesis for the round, I will attempt to synthesize one from his 1st introductory speech. The thesis I will negate in this following part of the debate is thus: "Zero tolerance policies on drugs and weapons in public education are unjust." My opponent may amend this thesis if he thinks that this thesis is not representative of his arguments.

A few definitions to begin. My opponent may offer alternate definitions if he thinks these definitions are not suitable.
1) Zero-Tolerance Policies are policies that punish all violators equitably with no exceptions. In schools, zero-tolerance policies are usually in effect regarding violence, weapon possession, and drug possession, use, dealing, etc.
2) Justice is defined as giving each his due.

I stand in firm negation of the resolution: "Zero tolerance policies on drugs and weapons in public education are unjust.". These policies aim to end violence and drug abuse by making any and all violations by implementing immediate and standard punishment for all infractions. In doing so, they make sure that violators cannot escape punishment through loopholes in school policies. Indeed, I claim that this makes the policies more fair than any other type of policy. There may be misadministration, but any policy will have misadministration. Remember, my opponent has to prove that zero-tolerance policies themselves are unjust, not that they have the potential to be administered unjustly. I reserve the right, as did my opponent, to bring up further evidence and arguments in Round 2.

Now on to my opponent's case. Since he has not clearly defined his points, I will do my best to summarize them. My response to each point will follow the stating of said point.

1) Zero-tolerance policies violate "due process".

My Response: Here is the clause from the Constitution my opponent references: "...[no person] shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without the due process of law." First off, children are not members of the voting franchise and are thus not covered under due process legislation. Second, this is not a violation of "due process" because it does not deprive the child of life, liberty, or property. Children are not detained for for violating the policies, nor do they have any property (except drugs and weapons, which are illegal for their possession) taken from them. Schools are certainly not allowed to execute children for violating school policies. The worst the school can do is expel the student, which violates none of the rights listed in the due process clause. If a violation also may have broken state or federal law, the child is tried in court the same way that anyone else is i.e. if it goes to trial, the child is indeed given due process.

2) Children are suspended and expelled for acts that don't deserve punishment.

My response: I agree, the children you cite in your stories didn't deserve the punishment, but unjust administration does not equal an unjust policy. Certainly there were undue suspensions and expulsions before zero-tolerance policies came about; the point is not proven your point until it is shown that a greater proportion of children are unjustly suspended and expelled under zero-tolerance policies than under traditional policies. Secondly, all of my opponent's evidence is anecdotal. Yes, these are all terrible stories, but how often does this actually occur? He provides no statistics to show that it happens often enough to warrant any concern. The solution to his point as stands? Sack the incompetent administrators in his anecdotes, while retaining the zero-tolerance policies I have already shown to be more just than any traditional alternative.

Because of my opponent's complete failure to prove any of his points, the resolution is clearly untrue.
Debate Round No. 1
Officialjake

Pro

My opponent is wrong my thesis is that the zero tolerance policy is in general an unjust authoritarian system. And my opponent is wrong students ARE protected by the constitution and the bill of rights. In the bill of rights the 14th amendment states that due process is required and the supreme court has recognized that due process must be used in schools also. My sources are from the ACLU at this web address: http://www.aclupa.org... and here: http://www.aclum.org... these sites contain proof of the due process that us required. Also the zero tolerance policies are unjust be use they fail to allow administrators that ability to handle incidents on a case by case basis. News stations and many others have called zero tolerance equals zero intelligence. You should also watch the war on kids documentary. It reveals the corrupt schooling that is happening and that it needs to stop. There are dozens of cases that show the unjustness of zero tolerance for instance two boys get in a fight that was not caused by either party. When the bully starts the fight and the victim just sits there getting beat who do you think gets in trouble? No your wrong not just the bully both of them are suspended for violence under the zero tolerance policy. The inoccent victim is suspended for being beat by a bully. Ask yourself is this fair? It sure isn't. Here are a few websites with cases on them: http://www.akdart.com... this site has over 30 cases o unfairness in zero tolerance. Here are more websites: http://yuriartibise.com...
Valtarov

Con

I'll address my opponent's points, then move on to affirm my own points.

My opponent says that my statement of the topic, but changes nothing about the thesis but to say that it is authoritarian. Since the term "authoritarian" was not used in the debate topic originally advertised and was not used in Round 1, it should not be used in the debate topic. I claim that to include this in the thesis for the debate would be unfair conduct. My opponent may decide whether to strike this from the thesis.

I will, however, show how zero-tolerance policies are not authoritarian.

Authoritarian: of, relating to, or favoring a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people (Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary). Since we are dealing with children who are not enfranchised, and the people is the body of enfranchised adults, this term does not apply in today's debate. If we were to misapply the term into the context of the debate, we would find that zero-tolerance policies are not authoritarian as they favor no one at all, and may actually level a playing field in which favoritism reigned.

1) Zero-tolerance violates due process.

My Response: In defense, my opponent cites the ACLU. His source not say that students are entitled to the same rights as adults, merely that they have some of the rights. I will concede that students have some right to due process. My opponent completely failed, however, to address my point that zero-tolerance policies simply don't violate due process regardless of whether the students are entitled to due process. In fact, on the issue, his own sources said essentially the same thing I said in the previous round: zero-tolerance policies do not deprive students of life, health, liberty, or property without due process of law.

2) Children are punished unjustly.

My Response: My opponent still fails to provide evidence that this is common enough to warrant action. Is it fair that some administrators are really, really unfair with their application of policies? No. Is it the fault of the policies? No. If my opponent can show credible statistics that children are punished more unjustly under zero-tolerance than under traditional policies, and that this gap is due to differences in the policies themselves, then he wins this point. Until then, this point is clearly negated.

My own case, which my opponent has not addressed, is that zero-tolerance policies make sure that there is no favoritism and are thus more fair. He has not responded to this, and so I can only see a Con ballot in this round.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Officialjake

Pro

Please wait till next round I ran out of time due o school
Valtarov

Con

I won't post any arguments this round for my opponent's sake. I will not refrain from posting arguments next round if my opponent fails to answer then as well.
Debate Round No. 3
Officialjake

Pro

Officialjake forfeited this round.
Valtarov

Con

My opponent has also forfeited this round. All of my arguments were not responded, so they stand in the debate. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Officialjake 6 years ago
Officialjake
i am sorry for being unable to respond because i had no internet at my Summer leadership school for a week
Posted by Valtarov 6 years ago
Valtarov
Hey, dude, you going to respond?
Posted by Crayzman2297 6 years ago
Crayzman2297
Ah... so many great debates that i'd love to be a part of, if only I could actually argue with them!
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
Agree
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Valtarov 6 years ago
Valtarov
OfficialjakeValtarovTied
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Vote Placed by rougeagent21 6 years ago
rougeagent21
OfficialjakeValtarovTied
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Vote Placed by Officialjake 6 years ago
Officialjake
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
OfficialjakeValtarovTied
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