Zero-tolerance policies and administrative decision making: The case for restorative justice-based school discipline reform
Global Perspectives on Educational Leadership Reform: The Development and Preparation of Leaders of Learning and Learners of Leadership
ISBN: 978-0-85724-445-1, eISBN: 978-0-85724-446-8
Publication date: 8 November 2010
There is a lack of empirical evidence to support the claim that zero-tolerance policies decrease violent incidents in schools or improve school safety. The message behind the policies clearly indicates that violence in schools is not tolerable under any circumstances; however, there is no correlation between the message and the outcomes from policy implementation. The literature on school order and safety suggests that zero tolerance is the simplest and least effective approach with a myriad of unintentional consequences that have a negative impact on education, not just for an individual student but for the system as a whole (American Psychological Association, 2006; Casella, 2003). This chapter examines the role of the school leader, the historical background of school safety, the role of the school leader as a learner, the legislative events that led to the development of zero-tolerance policies, and outline the unintended consequences of zero-tolerance policies in relation to leadership and learning. An alternative approach to school discipline is proposed – namely a restorative justice approach, which may work towards alleviating many of these unintended consequences.
Mackey, H.J. and Stefkovich, J.A. (2010), "Zero-tolerance policies and administrative decision making: The case for restorative justice-based school discipline reform", Normore, A.H. (Ed.) Global Perspectives on Educational Leadership Reform: The Development and Preparation of Leaders of Learning and Learners of Leadership (Advances in Educational Administration, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 243-262. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3660(2010)0000011015
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