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Zero Tolerance

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Zero Tolerance May Not Extend To Pop-Tarts Under Gun Bill

Pop-Tarts chewed into the shape of a gun would not be grounds for suspension under a bill passed Thursday by the House Education Committee. The bill is supposed to cut down on the number of students arrested because of zero tolerance policies. The ‘Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act’ is known as the Pop-Tart bill after [...]

Interview: Rethinking Zero Tolerance Discipline Policies In Florida Public Schools

Some districts are reconsidering zero tolerance.

In many schools, zero tolerance discipline policies dictate harsh punishment—expulsion, suspension and arrest—for breaking rules. But, as StateImpact Florida has been reporting, some districts are reconsidering zero tolerance over concerns about a rise in the number of children arrested on campus. One of those districts walking away from zero tolerance is in Broward County, where the schools formed a [...]

How School Zero Tolerance Rules Turn Bad Behavior Into A Crime

Ernest Saunders with his son Malcolm Calvert, 17, who was arrested for battery when he hit his friend with a lollipop.

Malcolm Calvert was in 7th grade when he got into an argument with his 6th grade friend on a school bus and hit him with a Tootsie Pop. 

“I hit him with it on his head,” recalls Malcolm, who was a student at Lanier James Alternative School in Hallandale Beach, Fla., when the Tootsie Pop incident happened in 2011. “They handcuffed me and took me off the school bus.”

Two Florida Middle School Students Suspended For A Hug

Two girls embrace on a balcony overlooki

A hug is as popular as a handshake in the South.  We greet friends and family with a hug. We bid farewell with a hug. Just tell your kids not to do it in school. Two Brevard County middle school students received a day long, in-school suspension last week after the principal saw them hugging. [...]

Could Florida Benefit From Federal School Discipline Study?

Federal officials are concerned too many disruptive students are winding up in the juvenile justice system — and therefore not completing their education, according to Education Week‘s Politics K-12 blog. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan describes what he saw leading Chicago schools: “A small group of principals were calling the police too often to [...]

Making An Impact Through “People Reporting”

I first realized the power I have as a journalist while covering education in Oakland. I was part of a team that created a radio documentary on the public school system. Our work compelled listeners to donate toward filling the food cabinet of a teacher struggling to feed her hungry students. And one listener offered [...]

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