With the increased pace and scope of parental challenges to zero tolerance
policies, many stakeholders in education have questioned whether
the policy is achieving its intended purpose. Although concern over the
nature and application of zero tolerance policies has rightfully increased,
this increase should not be interpreted as a lack of concern about ensuring
a safe school environment. “In fact laws and policies governing criminal
behavior in schools, which cover students who knowingly and intentionally
bring weapons or illicit drugs to school, are recognized as legitimate”
(Sughrue, 2003, p. 240). This is precisely the point of this study. If zero
tolerance policy was implemented to support safe school environments,
then mechanisms put in place toward that end must function properly and
security must be enforced. However, the ambiguity around what constitutes
an expulsionable offense has led to growing opposition, confusion,
and disgruntlement from various factions of the school communities
across the country about what exactly zero tolerance is and who is it
intended to serve? Therefore, we thought it important to provide background
information on the opposing factions of the policy.
McNeal & Dunbar,(May 2010) In the Eyes of the Beholder: Urban Student Perceptions of Zero Tolerance Policy, Urban Education; available at http://news.msu.edu/media/documents/2010/05/9a859dd9-0b30-4f4b-8353-b6e2a7564dcc.pdf.
The study is summarized in the Phys.org article below.