Zero Tolerance: Resisting the Drive for Punishment in Our Schools :A Handbook for Parents, Students, Educators, and Citizens

Zero Tolerance: Resisting the Drive for Punishment in Our Schools :A Handbook for Parents, Students, Educators, and Citizens


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“Zero tolerance” began as a prohibition against guns, but it has quickly expanded into a frenzy of punishment and tougher disciplinary measures in American schools. Ironically, as this timely collection makes clear, recent research indicates that as schools adopt more zero tolerance policies they in fact become less safe, in part because the first casualties of these measures are the central, critical relationships between teacher and student and between school and community.

Zero Tolerance assembles prominent educators and intellectuals, including the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Michelle Fine, and Patricia Williams, along with teachers, students, and community activists, to show that the vast majority of students expelled from schools under new disciplinary measures are sent home for nonviolent violations; that the rush to judge and punish disproportionately affects black and Latino children; and that the new disciplinary ethos is eroding constitutional protections of privacy, free speech, and due process. Sure to become the focus of controversy, Zero Tolerance presents a passionate, multifaceted argument against the militarization of our schools.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781565846661
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 11/01/2001
Pages: 263
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

William Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired). He co-edited City Kids, City Teachers ; Teaching for Social Justice ; Zero Tolerance ; and City Kids, City Schools (all available from The New Press).

Bernardine Dohrn is director of the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University School of Law, Legal Clinic.

Rick Ayers teaches at Berkeley High School and is the author of Studs Terkel’s Working: A Teaching Guide.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Resisting Zero Tolerancexi
Part 1Narratives1
Ground Zero3
Two Punches, Expelled for Life15
Arturo's Case31
From the Jail Yard to the School Yard42
Racial Profiling at School: The Politics of Race and Discipline at Berkeley High51
Decatur: A Story of Intolerance64
America Still Eats Her Young77
Part 2Social Contexts87
"Look Out Kid/It's Something You Did": Zero Tolerance for Children89
How Distorted Coverage of Juvenile Crime Affects Public Policy114
Zero Tolerance as Mandatory Sentencing126
Education, Delinquency, and Incarceration136
Sexual Harassment Meets Zero Tolerance: Life in K-12 Schools143
Sticks and Stones: The Jailing of Mentally Ill Kids155
Part 3Education and Activism163
Zero Tolerance: A Basic Racial Report Card165
When Is Disproportionality Discrimination? The Overrepresentation of Black Students in School Suspension176
The ABCs of School Discipline: Lessons from Miami-Dade County188
Finding Safety Where We Least Expect It: The Role of Social Capital in Preventing School Violence202
Turning to Each Other, Not on Each Other: How School Communities Prevent Racial Bias in School Discipline219
The Role of Law in Policing Abusive Disciplinary Practices: Why School Discipline Is a Civil Rights Issue230
Zero Tolerance: Reflections on a Failed Policy That Won't Die256

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Zero Tolerance: Resisting the Drive for Punishment in Our Schools: A Handbook for Parents, Students, Educators, and Citizens 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Author speaks from experience with practical advice. Easy to read-hard to reflect on.