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Zero tolerance policies towards bad behaviour in schools - good or bad?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by nomad, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    I have no issues with insisting upon behaviour that is respectful and polite.

    I do feel that stringently sticking to "the rules" can be draconian and ultimately unhelpful, especially where school uniform, phones, equipment is concerned.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I disagree. I would suggest it is a matter of " What would Ofsted see is working."

    Can you signpost to such evidence? Please?

    Policy is not the same as practice.
  3. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    My mind is filled with The Tempest, @nomad.

    You'll have to spell out to me what you mean, sorry :D
    nomad likes this.
  4. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    "I weep at mine unworthiness, that dare not offer what I desire to give... "


    So, to clarify...

    A zero tolerance policy can be put into place, but can be adapted, when necessary, to individual circumstances. For example, uniform. Those who have the ability to wear uniform correctly should do so. A child with a neck brace clearly cannot wear a tie.

    Jonathan Reddiford, a delegate from North Somerset, said that in some cases, imposing a “zero tolerance” behavioural policy is “nothing short of child abuse”.

    He told of a female pupil who was “kicked out” of school for speaking on her mobile phone, which was against the rules.

    She was speaking to her mum who was in the military and had been deployed to Iraq,” Mr Reddiford.

    “It was the first time she had spoken to her mum for 30 days and she gets kicked out because of it. "


    Clearly a misapplication of an otherwise perfectly good policy.

    Policy is one thing. Practice is another.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    It's a nice idea - but it's not sustainable
  6. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Says who?
    Alice K and nomad like this.
  7. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I agree instinctively with a zero tolerance approach .
    2 examples of how it has ‘ worked ‘ in practice.

    1) A 13 year old student with a history of self harm stole a knife from the DT dept. Immediate suspension by head.
    Student found later having hanged herself

    2) Teacher in 1st or 2nd year of teaching. A student was mildly but persistently ‘ playing up’, gentle but assertive reminders to ‘wait’, stop interrupting’ etc. Eventually teacher turned to student and innocently said, ‘OK, now you’ve got my attention........’ Student said,’ oh, **** off’ and stormed out the room.

    Should he have been suspended (as per policy) ?
    Well, he had only just returned to school, following a suicide attempt which had been suggested to him as being an attention seeking act.
    He thought, the innocent phrase, was having a go at him for his overdose. (Who should have been suspended ? The teacher? The student (still in a fragile state of mind)? HoY/SLT Who didn’t think the ordinary teacher needed to know what had happened?

    (NB. In this case there was no suspension)

    Errr.... perhaps it’s not that simple after all.
  8. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    People who have investigated their long-term effect.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  9. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    Can it be really called a zero tolerance policy if, in practice, it isn't? Are we just arguing semantics?
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

  11. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Oh, c'mon!!

    Hardly evidence!
  12. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    I know some people don't like the APA but there's a comprehensive list of useful sources at the end.
    I don't think you support zero tolerance policies. Zero tolerance policies insist on consistent application of the sanction, regardless of the specific circumstances. There can be no misapplication of the policy because there are no excuses. Zero tolerance of the behaviour no matter what the circumstances which led to it.
  13. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Thank you. Proper evidence at last.

    Okay then, I support zero tolerance policies with bendy flexible options.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Zero tolerance.

    I understand this to be (here follows a sample statement): any child seen fighting will be excluded (within school) for a minimum of one day.

    And every child witnessed fighting is duly excluded.

    That's how I understand such a policy to work. Having been framed in those terms. Is this what people mean by a zero tolerance policy when put into practice?
  15. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    they certainly work brilliantly where I am!
    Alice K and nomad like this.
  16. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    I'm afraid that isn't what is peddled as zero tolerance. I don't accept bad behaviour but I don't think inflexible application of a sanction creates good behaviour. At best you get an uneasy compliance and often it creates a sense of injustice and rebellion which causes more problems than it solves.
  17. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I was referring to your language. Asking me to "signpost" something

    I will fire up my google and refer to you to evidence
  18. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It's just nonsensical.

    It doesn't apply in real life.

    Punishments and the ways people are dealt with are calculated with regard to mitigating and aggravating factors.

    Planned or spontaneous?
    Previous good character or not?
    Your age.
    The nature of the provocation.
    Any particular vulnerability you may possess.

    So adults aren't all judged by the same standard. Nor should children. Every case is different.
  19. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

  20. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    A student in such a fragile mental state needs the correct treatment.

    Of all the recent 'trends', the suggestion that mental health problems can be "cured" by kind indulgence is the one that causes me the most frustration.

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