A high school student was suspended by school officials for four days because a wooden bat was found in his vehicle. An honors student was sent to an alternative placement center for students who have discipline problems because she forgot to remove a kitchen knife from her car. A first-grader was suspended for bringing his favorite camping utensil to school.
These school districts follow strict zero tolerance policies where students get thorough punishments for assaults, weapons violations and drug offenses. In some school districts the rules have been applied too strictly.
Consider intent of action
A bill was passes by the legislation that when giving a punishment, school administrators should use common sense. Although House Bill 171 allows school districts to suspend, expel students or place students in an alternative education program in the case of weapon violation, they also need to keep in mind the explanatory circumstances as well. They need to understand the “intent or lack of intent” as well as the history of the student in the case. Intent should play a vital role before punishment is given to the student
Use a multidimensional outlook
There is a clause in this law, which is to keep parents informed about the punishment of their child. There should be no delay from the school when informing parents. There has been a number of cases where schools are not using common sense while administering this law. There should not be a one dimensional outlook by the schools regarding this law. At times there is a thin line between an innocent and guilty student in many of these scenarios. The school should be open to understanding and listening to what the students have to say in their defense.
Actions have lasting effect
Any wrong action taken towards a student can make or break a student’s future. Students are of the age that any wrongdoing towards them can push them into more trouble. Students should feel safe and have a good relationship with the school.
Basically parents agree this policy, but with many doubts in their mind. They feel it is a very good first step towards the proper guidance of students, but they also question whether it will be fairly administered.
The schools should be prudent enough to conduct a fair examination because what they are handling are not criminals, but students.
Originally posted 2009-10-14 10:07:13.