by Zoey Jones
Bullying is a huge issue in almost every
school, town and city. It's not a new problem. Bullying
has been around for as long as there have been people. The
difference is that now more and more kids are being seriously
injured or killed, or they're choosing to take their
own life because of bullying. So, what are schools doing to
stop this problem? One method that is being tested in many
Elementary, Middle and High schools is the Zero Tolerance
Policy. What is Zero Tolerance and how does it work?
Zero Tolerance is pretty much like it says:
It's a policy in that punishes any sort of negative
physical or verbal contact. Every Zero Tolerance policy has
it's own set of rules, guidelines and consequences,
but the basic message is the same - hands off at all
times! This usually means no hitting, no pushing, no tripping,
no throwing, no spitting and it also observes verbal abuse
- no yelling, no swearing or no insults directed at
another person. Each policy has its own set of rules, but
most usually have a series of stages to work through -
kind of like the ‘three strikes and you're out'
idea. In other cases, one violation will lead to instant expulsion.
The enforcement of policies varies greatly.
In one case, an elementary school enforced the Zero Tolerance
policy so strictly that Kindergarten to Grade 3 students were
being sent home or suspended for playing tag on the playground.
Then, there are other cases, where middle years students have
been suspended or expelled for harassing fellow students with
physical jabs and verbal attacks, which seems appropriate.
As you can see, the enforcement of these policies can be quite
In my opinion, Zero Tolerance is a good
idea - in theory. However, like anything, there are
problems. It's important to ensure that bullying behaviour
is being punished. So, until schools find a better solution,
it might be the best option available to protect students
while they're in school. Buy when they leave school
property, who will be watching and taking notes then?
Want more info? Click here to go to Resources.