On Top of the News
Seeing the Toll, Schools Revise Zero Tolerance
12/3/13 | New York Times
Behind the Headline
Law and Disorder in the Classroom
Fall 2009 | Education Next
According to a front page article in the New York Times, school districts across the country are cutting back on their use of suspensions, expulsions, and arrests as disciplinary tools. The article focuses on Broward County, Fla., which is replacing “get tough” policies with counseling and other assistance aimed at changing behavior.
Wake County, N.C. has also been in the news for proposed changes to its code of student conduct that will make it harder for students to be suspended for less serious offenses.
A study by Richard Arum and Doreet Preiss which was published in Ed Next, “Law and Disorder in the Classroom” looks at school discipline policies and the legal rights of students. Since the 1960s, courts have become increasingly involved in regulating U.S. schooling in general, but especially in the area of school discipline, they write. They find, however, that both educators and students believe that students have more rights — and educators have more limited authority — than have actually been established by case law: “We found that students’ sense of legal entitlement was expansive, and that teacher and administrator expectations of required student due process protections were even more so.