Do you think the “Zero Violence Tolerance Rules” in schools has helped or made things worse? I believe that all they have done is take away the ability for the innocent people to protect themselves. The innocent children now worry that if they fight back against the bullies they will get in trouble themselves. How is that fair? If they snitch and turn the kids in they have to just prove they are being harassed and bullied and in the process of doing so the bullies torture them that much more and continue to get away with it. They know the innocent children will not defend themselves, for fear of the consequences so the bullies are then empowered. In my opinion this is very similar to gun laws and the fact that we are taking guns out of the hands of those that need protection from the criminals that will have guns whether it is legal or not.
There is no credible evidence that Zero Violence Tolerance Policies have prevented violence in schools. (Skiba 2000) The only thing I believe that has been prevented is the students that follow policy and don’t want to get in trouble get bullied and picked on much more because they know they will be punished for defending themselves in accordance with these policies. I have zero tolerance for bullying myself. I have told my children they are never to instigate a fight or ever to throw the first punch, but if someone hits them and they have no other methods of protecting themselves they are to do whatever it takes to protect themselves and they will not be in trouble with me. I am not sure if that is the perfect way to handle this either but I do believe our current policies are creating more anxiety in our children because they worry constantly that something that most would consider typical human nature will be misinterpreted and they will get in trouble for being overly friendly or just a little more affectionate than another person.
When I was young we had a kid that we all called “Captain Kisser”. He would chase the girls around the playground just to steal a little kiss. This was never thought of as a bad thing because the girl that was being chased thought she was the “special” one for the day. I know that sounds silly to us adults but when I think back to those days as a child, it was fun and exciting. Today if that young man did something like this one of the little girls that he kissed could press charges of harassment. Then again one of the girls that he didn’t kiss could actually say that she felt discriminated against. I think we have taken away the innocence of youth and actually d-emasculated our young men to an extent.
We need to really stop treating our children so much like adults and allow them to be children a bit more. Boys and girls are affectionate by nature and I believe we need to embrace that and stop creating non-emotional and overly anxious adults. Let’s take a step back and realize what childhood is about and let these kids enjoy being kids while they can. They have plenty of time to be grown up.
I think Zero Violence Tolerance Policies were implemented as a reaction to the exception not the rule in schools. I know we all want our children to feel safe when they go to school and we cannot allow the bad seeds to make us over-react. I believe our Zero Violence Tolerance Policies need to be re-evaluated and we need to just think harder how to prevent the exceptions and implement policies that allow students to feel more accepted for who they are now try to make them what society believe we all should become.