damaged youths Essay

Submitted By alyx716
Words: 1641
Pages: 7

Alyx St. Jean
Dr. Bradley English 1301 March 6th, 2013
Damaged Youths Our children are the future, is the common phrase well known to everyone, but now a days it seems as though the future we’re headed towards is full of drugged out, violent, and ignorant damaged youths. The number of school shootings, expulsions/suspensions, ADD/ADHD diagnosis, and cutting of the fine arts classes has come to an all-time high, and the discipline put on children is outrageous; no child should ever be afraid to go to school. The public school system has become a major issue to youths by treating them like criminals, pushing them to drug abuse, and robbing them of their individualism. The ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy is defined as so: The policy of applying laws or penalties to even minor infringements of a code in order to reinforce its overall importance and enhance deterrence. This movement was introduced in the 1980’s and is currently active in all schools across America, created to ensure that schools were to be kept safe for the attending students and to enforce discipline in the learning place. The policy was created for a good cause; however there are circumstances in which the discipline put on the students is too far, for example, no child under the age of 13 should ever be put in handcuffs, or an orange prison jumpsuit. Believe it or not, that actually happens monthly, some children as young as 7 years old, being put in handcuffs and taken out of school by police. Since the Zero Tolerance policy has been put in affect, the suspension and expulsion rates sky rocketed and continue to do so every year. In 2006, there were over three million school suspensions and over one hundred and two thousand expulsions, and that is elementary school alone. "’Kids who are falling behind academically are at much greater risk for misbehaving. They may work harder, or they may give up,’ says Skiba, who advocates against the use of out-of-school suspension. ‘What is the transition plan? If a kid's been out of his home school for two months, do you just drop him back in class and expect him to function better than two months ago? That seems unrealistic to me’" (Sussman). Here are some examples of why young students are being expelled, suspended, and even arrested. Criminal charges were filed against two second graders in New Jersey for playing cops and robbers during recess. The files charged against them concluded that playing cops and robbers is no longer an accepted children’s game in school but an actual act of terrorism. Students in Florida were sent to a police station from school in handcuffs for possessing a controlled substance and with the intent to deliver. The three seventh graders were selling packets of purple powder before they were arrested and sent to the county police station. The boys explained they were selling kool aid, and after 3 months of court cases and all this unnecessary nonsense, the police finally decided to test the purple powder and it was in fact, kool aid. “Last year, a 17 year-old honor student in North Carolina named Ashley Smithwick accidentally took her father’s lunch with her to school. It contained a small paring knife which he would use to slice up apples. So what happened to this standout student when the school discovered this? The school suspended her for the rest of the year and the police charged her with a misdemeanor”(Michael). These are only three examples of thousands and thousands in which the law over uses its power in schools. In a way, high schools are becoming more and more in comparison with prison because of the zero tolerance policy. Police officers are now present in what seems like every high