Essay Example on Zero Tolerance: Rules, Punishments & Criticisms

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  2
Wordcount:  525 Words
Date:  2023-04-24

Zero tolerance policy refers to the set of rules that institutions and organizations impose on either students/learners or members of staff. Upon the violation, the administration is mandated to issue severe punitive measures such as suspension or expulsion in the case of learning institutions (Allen & Sawhney, 2015). The main issue that people, especially parents, have against the zero-tolerance policy is that the repercussions apply regardless of the circumstances. From the case study, Mathew sikes got into a fight with a fellow student who had posted insulting comments about him on the internet, and both of them were expelled. The circumstance that got spikes into the fight was purely self-defence. When he confronted the boy that had insulted him on the internet, the boy threw him to the ground, and he hit him back in self-defence. The school administration invoked the zero-tolerance policy and expelled both of the boys without even trying any of the alternative behavioural or character support mechanisms.

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There is no conclusive research that shows that the zero-tolerance policy has positive effects on controlling behaviour in organizations (Allen & Sawhney, 2015). From the case study, the results of the zero-tolerance policy in the brown county school district were increased number of expulsions and suspensions which led to the need for extra classrooms and staff in the alternative schools, as well as increased pressure on members of the community and the environment. Additionally, it can be gathered from the case study that the education system of brown county is suffering a lot. Students who are expelled or suspended even on minor issues and easily resolvable conflicts are forced to attend the alternative schools where they meet students with serious problems such as drug addiction, and a history of violence. This harms their performance and their overall grades. It can also be noted that the enforcement of the zero-tolerance policy in Brown County school district is exerting a huge financial burden on parents who are forced to enrol their kids into private schools instead of the alternative schools.

The school district of Brown County should have focused on non-punitive programs that mainly focus on preventing bad behaviour among learners and improving their discipline. This approach effectively keeps the students safe and improves their emotional maturity. Behavioural programs that target specific groups of students or individual students who have a tendency of engaging in violent activities coupled with character moulding programs and positive behavioural support measures could have worked better for the brown county school district. For instance, the school administration should have allowed Suzzana Heart a chance to explain why she brought the cell phone to school. It could have been easier to call her parent and resolve the issue with both of them. Instead, suspension and eventual suspension of heart forced her mother, to spend more money in enrolling her daughter in a private school rather than the alternative school. These are the reasons why I think the zero-tolerance policy is not an effective way of managing behaviour in organizations in this era.


Allen, J. M., & Sawhney, R. (2015). Administration and Management in Criminal Justice: a Service Quality Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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