In the current climate in this country and with a rash of violence popping up in schools across the country it seems that more and more school districts are adopting what is called the zero tolerance policy when it comes to disciplining students. While at times it may seem like taking this approach is taking an active role in making sure that students in the entire are being protected, the reality is that some students are going to get cast as the ones who deserve no tolerance when they actually need more than the norm.
Exceptional Student Education (ESE) qualified students will often appear as massive trouble makers to those who do not understand the kind of learning disabilities these children have come down with. It is even worse when ESE eligible students have not yet been diagnosed with a treatable learning disability and everyone including the child’s family just thinks they are either bad seeds or incorrigible. These types of students are usually the ones who are singled out and pointed to when school boards argue that they need the no tolerance policies in place in the first place when they should be taken aside and taught how to behave and how to handle themselves in the classroom.
ESE students are not the lost cause so many schools have suddenly decided they are, but treatment for the various learning disabilities they may be diagnosed with can be expensive and the funds for continuing to educate them in a totally different way than the rest of their class can sometimes be hard to come by. So instead the school district decides that these are the kind of kids who must be expunged from the rolls and they are left to fend for themselves in a world they aren’t fully equipped to deal with. Zero tolerance policies do fewer people less good than their brochures trumpet.