Zero-tolerance measures can counteract what some experts consider a crucial tool for protecting students and the larger community.

After a former student killed six people last year at the private Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, state leaders have been looking for ways to make schools safer. Their focus so far has been to ramp up penalties against current students who make mass threats against schools.

Months after the killings, legislators passed a law requiring students who make such threats to be expelled for a year (unless a school superintendent decides otherwise) and allowing schools not to enroll them afterward. This year, the legislature passed bills that make the offense a felony and that revoke driving privileges for a year.

But a large body of research shows these zero-tolerance measures are not the most effective way to prevent violence in schools. In fact, some experts say those measures can counteract what they consider a crucial tool for protecting students as well as the larger community: threat assessments. When carried out correctly, threat assessments sort out behavior intended to cause real physical harm from simply disruptive acts and provide troubled students with the help they need.

  • Flying Squid
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    143 months ago

    School shooting drills did not make schools safer.

    Putting cops in schools did not make schools safer.

    Metal detectors, backpack searches and backpack bans did not make schools safer.

    Zero tolerance policies based on threat assessments did not make schools safer.

    Anything but address the fucking elephant in the room.

  • @[email protected]
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    103 months ago

    I wouldn’t expect somewhere in the south to do something well thought out, proven or logical on basically any issue.

  • TimLovesTech (AuDHD)(he/him)
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    83 months ago

    So their plan to deescalate a kid making threats is to expel the kid for a year (or forever), and then also taking away their license (for a year)?

    I’m sure “ruining” a kids life instead of listening to them and getting them help wouldn’t speed up an unstable kids time-table for revenge at all. Probably best to not even try and understand why a kid is making the threat in the first place, that might require addressing issues and make people uncomfortable.

    • @[email protected]
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      43 months ago

      Most laws passed in the south seem like cynical attempts to further persecute and abuse a specific group.

  • Optional
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    13 months ago

    Seriously, Tennessee - what the hell is happening to you

  • @ParabolicMotion
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    13 months ago

    They shouldn’t ignore threats, either, though. There needs to be investigation and consequences if the threats are credible. It isn’t fair to work in an environment where you’re being given death threats.