Jen Vorse Wilka

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Zero-tolerance discipline policies: a failing idea

 

 

By Marian Wright Edelman

Guest Commentator

 

Many school children in America are on summer break right now, but here’s a pop quiz about discipline policies in our nation’s schools that’s just for grownups:

• Would you suspend a student from school for four months for sharpening his pencil without permission and giving the teacher a “threatening” look when asked to sit down? • Would you expel a student from school for the rest of a school year for poking another student with a ballpoint pen during an exam? • Would you expel a student from school permanently because her possession of an antibiotic violated your school’s zero-tolerance drug policy? • Would you call the police, handcuff, and then expel a student who started a snowball fight on school grounds? If you answered “no” to any of these questions because they sounded too unfair to be the result of an actual policy, give yourself a failing grade. Continue Reading →

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