Thursday, May 16, 2002

zero tolerance

Today, I came across a couple of thoughtful and informative articles on the subjects of school violence, media coverage, and zero tolerance policies, from Stanley Kurtz at National Review Online, and from University of Delaware Sociology and Criminal Justice Professor Joel Best. Kurtz asks the following in his article:
According to the Washington Times, "school officials defend zero tolerance as an unfortunate but necessary reaction to increased demands for school safety." But what if those demands are based upon an illusion? What if the dangerous trends that make parents tolerate the abuses inherent in zero-tolerance policies are nonexistent? What if school shootings are not on the rise? What if the bullying that supposedly contributes to these shootings is not pervasive? What if, in short, our zero-tolerance policies are based upon myth?
For answers, he points at Joel Best's article Monster Hype.