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school violence comment

Posted By: Ronnie Casella on April 9, 2002
Peter Lucas and John Burruto raise an important question: How do we maintain a safe school at the same time that we uphold equal educational opportunities for all students? Research since the 1970s has shown that suspension and expulsion do little if anything to help students to improve their behaviors, and in some cases, cause further stresses that can create even greater hostilities in schools; yet, the method of discipline for misbehavior and aggression, prompted by zero tolerance policy, and supported by already overburdened schools, has been school outplacements of various forms. Meanwhile, students in school deserve the right to feel free of threats and violence, and to not have concealed weapons floating around the building. The problem, I believe, is that we have attempted to solve the problem of violence and perceived violence in school through exclusion of students who come to school hostile for a variety of reasons. The solution, I feel, is to develop violence prevention strategies, supported by local and federal policies (which I hope the last chapter of my book outlined), that do not compromise the life chances of both the innocent and the not-so-innocent student. No student should be cut-off from access to success in life.
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 school violence comment by Ronnie Casella on April 9, 2002
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