History the American Public Term Paper

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Zero tolerance policies nationwide are measured at this time through research studies that ask the opinions of administrators and record keeping. There are many news reports that school violence has occurred or a gun was found in a locker and those violations make it into the studies. However, there is a statistical probability that for every one time there is a discovery of a zero tolerance policy rule there may be others that were not discovered. This needs t be determined so that the funding and training for zero tolerance can be funneled in the proper directions in the future.

There have been some important findings in the current studies regarding school violence. Some of those include:

The number of high school students who reported carrying a weapon of any type during the previous month declined from 26.1% in 1991 to 18.3% in 1997.

The researchers said that in 1991, 42.5% of high school students said they had been in a fight in the previous year. In 1997, the figure was 36.6%.

The findings are similar to the results of other recent national surveys. But the report's authors warned against interpreting them too optimistically. They wrote that rates of youth homicide and other violence are still at "historically high levels."

It also said there had been no decrease in the percentage of students carrying weapons other than guns "and in 1997 this behavior was twice as prevalent as gun carrying" (Study: School violence down, but still too high).Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Term Paper on History the American Public Has Assignment

For the effectiveness of zero tolerance to be truly measured however it is important to look beyond the students who were caught violating the policy. This would be difficult to do from the administrator's desk as those who have been caught were disciplined and those who have not been caught might not come forward. One of the most structured and pure ways to measure the effectiveness of zero tolerance policies in the nation's schools is to use actual students as participants. The students will be more able to answer questions about actual violations that are occurring or not occurring regardless of whether or not the offender has been caught and dealt with. This is important to understand so that the nation's school system can fine tune its zero tolerance policies. It is also an important study to conduct so that the nation's parents, teachers and students are not lulled into a sense of security about the effectiveness of zero tolerance unless it is well earned.


This research is significant for several reasons. One of the broad-based reasons this research is effective is that it provides the foundation for a possible nationally standardized zero tolerance policy. If the research shows that zero tolerance is working and the students are committing fewer infractions because of it then the federal government may decide to standardize the policy.

If the research shows that zero tolerance policies do not reduce or stop the infractions of zero tolerance policies, it will be an important eye opener for those who are designing the policies.

As might be expected, accompanying the increase in school violence, media coverage of it is increasing concern about school safety. In a national survey of 1,261 school administrators (Boothe, Bradley, Flick, Keough, & Kirk, 1993), 97% indicated that school violence was increasing across the United States and in their neighboring school districts. In an April 1993 national survey of 2,508 students in Grades 7 to 12, sponsored by the Joyce Foundations (Harris, 1993), 73% of the students indicated that violence was increasing in schools across the country. Other national studies (American Psychological Association, 1993; American School Health Association, 1989; Centers for Disease Control, 1991; National Institute of Education, 1977) have also emphasized this concern about youth violence in general and school violence in particular (Furlong, 1994)."

The belief that violence in schools is on the rise is also subjective according to some reports. According to some reports it has been relatively stable since the 1970's. These conflicting reports, regarding the violence in American schools further strengthen the need for a study that will answer the questions from the students who live daily with the violence in their hallways. The students being able to answer questions about the guns, drugs, knives and other zero tolerance infractions that may not be noticed by administrators can provide a concrete direction in where to go in the future regarding how to handle violence in the school system. The study is significant in its ability to determine how serious the zero tolerance policies are and how well they are working. The study will also help answer questions about what administrators are missing. If the study uncovers the fact that there are a significant number of infractions occurring that are not being noticed it will provide needed guidance as to why and what some of the solutions might be to correct it.

If the study reveals that… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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