Unraveling Zero Tolerance Documentary

Posted by Sue Dee

Feb 21, 2017 8:15:00 AM


Short documentary sheds light on shortcomings of a zero tolerance policy

You’ve seen the news headlines—fear and violence widespread in our schools. Some of you might have seen the movie, “Lean on Me ,” about the New Jersey school principal, Joe Clark, who took matters into his own hands to keep “those kids” out of his school. The response of “zero tolerance” made sense—or did it?

In only 12 minutes, you can learn a lot about how we got to where we are and how we might do something better for our youth.

retro report unraveling zero tolerance.jpg

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Topics: Zero Tolerance

Kentucky Police Officer Handcuffs 8-Year-Old, Stirs Outrage

Posted by Sue Dee

Aug 6, 2015 11:00:00 AM


Police in our schools—There is a better way

Watching the news this week, I came across an unsettling story.  

An 8-year-old, third-grade student diagnosed with ADHD and PTSD was handcuffed above the elbow by a sheriff’s deputy for not following directions at school. It is a disturbing image, yet one that may become increasingly more common. Police_handcuff_8yo

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Topics: Zero Tolerance, Kentucky, school to prison pipeline

Zero Tolerance Policy in Schools

Posted by Dr. Scott Henggeler

Jun 10, 2015 9:00:00 AM


This is a true story. The name has been changed.

Little T had minor scrapes with authorities throughout his adolescence—some alcohol and drug related, others more aggressive in nature. Toward the end of his junior year, Little T and two of his classmates broke into their high school in the middle of the night. The damage they racked was so extensive that school administrators were forced to broadcast a 5 am emergency cancellation of school to all students and personnel. School was closed for 2 days for cleanup, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars, disrupting the education of hundreds of students, and inconveniencing hundreds of families.photo_of_troubled_kid

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Topics: Zero Tolerance

Try giving them Popiscle sticks instead of suspending pre-K students in DC

Posted by Diane Kooser

Jul 24, 2014 2:47:39 PM


If it weren't in the Washington Post, you might not believe it. For the school year (SY) 2012-2013, 180 DC students in pre-kindergarten were suspended. Pre-kindergarten, kids aged 30 months to 5 years. And what could they possibly have done to merit being kicked out of class? Try tantrums, vulgarity and yes, bathroom accidents.

An Independent council member in the District of Columbia, David Grosso wants to put an end this "ridiculous policy" and has introduced legislation to ban the suspension and expulsion of pre-kindergarten children in the District of Columbia.   In additional to legislation, here's a better way to manage children in the classroom.

Dylan_KindergartenMy youngest nephew, Dylan, started kindergarten in SY 2013-2014. After his first few days of school, he told my husband Bill and me about kindergarten and explained some of the classroom behavior management strategy. “If you do something good, you get a Popsicle stick. After you get 10 Popsicle sticks, you can trade them in for a prize.  Guess what one of the prizes is? You can take off your shoes in the classroom!” When Bill asked, “Is that what you’re saving your sticks for?” Dylan answered with a “Yes!” that was pure enthusiasm. 

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Topics: Zero Tolerance, school to prison pipeline

Closing the School to Prison Pipeline is the Best Alternative

Posted by Dr. Scott Henggeler

Jan 21, 2014 12:27:00 PM


Zero Tolerance Makes Zero Sense

What is the school to prison pipeline? As the name suggests, this term refers to the disturbing trend in which at-risk youth are pushed out of school and into the criminal justice system. This trend desperately needs reversing, as many students pushed into the pipeline are never able to escape it.

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Topics: Zero Tolerance, school to prison pipeline

Get Tough Policies in School Don't Work

Posted by Marshall Swenson

Dec 3, 2013 4:30:04 PM


We all have stories from our own school experiences. Teachers we liked, others we disliked.  Someone who we will remember always. Bullies. Best friends forever.  Times when we made mistakes we regretted - whether caught or not. Things we appreciated, others we wished were different. But, one thing has surely changed - that is how our schools respond to discipline issues. Way back in my day misbehavior led to a dreaded trip to the principal's office, or detention, or worse, our parents were called. But today it can lead to a criminal record. Sure, some behaviors have changed with the times, but kids have not at the most basic level. They still want to be accepted by friends, and to feel competent.  

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Topics: Zero Tolerance

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