Further, the high profile incidents of school violence that culminate in death instigate fear and undermine various stakeholders’ belief in safety of schools and the children they accommodate. The worrying trend of heightened school violence, coupled with the acute need for students to learn in a secure environment, necessitates further analysis into the extant "get tough" disciplinary measures, their efficacy or lack thereof, teachers’ perception of the same and potential improvement strategies.
Following the occurrence of serious cases of violence in schools over the past ten years, dealing with and preventing violence and consequent disruption of learning is a crucial and urgent concern for all parties involved. While these efforts are directed towards preventing deadly violence, they also aim at restoring security within learning environments. It is common knowledge that instructors cannot convey crucial lessons to learners and neither can the latter get adequately educated in a setting characterized by disruptive violence and insecurity. With the increase in fears of violence, children’s safety as well as education is put at risk and a chance for success in academia and later in professional fields is significantly jeopardized (Smith, 2000). This is because both students and teachers fear going to school. Further, the sole perception of violence is capable of causing physical and psychological harm to individuals, impeding them from reaching their optimal level of social and academic potential.
Currently, "Zero Tolerance" is the official disciplinary policy used in schools to counter cases of violence. At the policy’s inception, it constituted actions like expulsion and enforced suspension, as a response to possession or use of weapons, violent acts and drug possession or usage within school environs. The policy has progressively come ...Show more