Is Bad Behavior Criminal at School?
Zero Tolerance at Schools
The zero tolerance at some schools for bad behavior is going to extremes, like many other things in this society. Is it the times? Are people just less tolerant? Are teachers just incapable of handling simple minor disciplinary actions now? This was not the case even 10 years ago.
For example, in New Mexico, a 13 yr. old girl was asked to stop talking in class and was told to move to another seat. She refused. The teacher picked up her cell phone and called police to enforce it. In the old days, the student would be sent to the principal.
A 6 yr. old in Georgia, in kindergarten, was hauled off by police in handcuffs for throwing a book and toys during a tantrum. Back in 2005, most kids would be told to take a timeout and sit in the corner. In Florida, again in Kindergarten, a boy was cuffed after he tossed jelly beans during a tantrum. In Connecticut, 1700 students have been arrested in a year involving fighting, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. In Texas, 275,000 infractions were issued to minors, with 75% being school related. In New Mexico (again), 500 of the students wee handcuffed by police on school grounds for disruptive behavior.
What is disruptive behavior, well, it can be the usual disrespect, fighting, interference with teaching to the unbelievable- the burp! That is what a 13 yr. old did in Middle School during gym class. After he returned to school after the arrest, tension and anger boiled between the boy and teacher that led to more issues including the boy being strip searched after he was accused of selling drugs (none were found). Then, there is the arrest for damage to school property (the girl tore off items from the wall, tossed a small shelf at the principal) of an elementary girl student, who lost her temper. She was suspended for a year.
Teachers are feeling insecure at school and seek the protection of police instead of handling it themselves. Maybe they are afraid of lawsuits from parents, losing their jobs for not handling it right, or in older grades, scared of the students themselves and their boldness or when confrontational. The police are not usually accustomed in dealing with kids at school and may overreact. Whatever the reason, students seemed to have lost respect for schools and teachers and today's society is making it worse in some ways. As the family unit crumbles, so do the kids.