Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Zero tolerance for zero tolerance

From the Lone Star State:
“Zero tolerance” is officially a thing of the past as Waco schools make it policy to consider mitigating factors such as self-defense when doling out punishment to students.

The Waco Independent School District board of trustees recently approved the 2009-10 Code of Conduct, which includes the requirement that district staff consider certain factors when issuing out-of-school suspensions and expulsions and when making placements to the disciplinary alternative education program. Those factors include: self-defense, student disability, student’s disciplinary history and intent or lack of intent at the time the student engaged in the conduct. Previously, it was a recommendation rather than a requirement to consider these factors. [emphasis added]

“As a district, we try to look at these every time we apply discipline,” said Royce Avery, WISD director of secondary education. “I think it’s a good thing that we apply fair and appropriate discipline across the board.”

Though it had been suggested in previous legislation that schools consider mitigating factors, legislators were still hearing stories about those factors not being considered, said Rep. Dora Olivo, D-Fort Bend. That was Olivo’s impetus to pen legislation making those considerations a requirement. ...

Article here. Definitely a small step in the right direction.

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