Zero happen to the high school dropout rate,
Zero ToleranceAmber MewettEtowah High SchoolJanuary 2018 Advanced Placement English LanguageMs. Heather BartonJack, a twelve year old boy, relies on school for his existence, to teach morals, to find friends, to learn. Jack was caught having cough drops for his cold in his bag, unfortunately this goes against the zero tolerance policy on drugs. The zero tolerance policy groups together marijuana and other drugs to have the same disciplinary actions as cough drops or mouthwash if found on the school campus. Jack gets pulled out of class, suspended, and had to fill out a police report. Schools have blurred the lines between discipline and setting students up for failure. The zero tolerance policy pushes students into school-to-prison pipeline through contact with law enforcement due to these disciplinary actions. Stopping the school-to-prison pipeline begins with reform of the zero tolerance policies. Jack goes back to school a week later and believes school is no longer worth it, Jack feels behind on work, he feels judged by his peers, he feels depressed. Mental illness for juveniles have been reported to be about 20% of the general population, however in the juvenile justice system, 70% of children just like Jack have been found to have a mental illness. Jack believes his only option left is to dropout of school, the Coalition for Juvenile Justice found that dropouts are three and a half times more susceptible to being arrested, and that 82% of prison inmates are high school dropouts. In sum, pushing students out of the classroom leads to grave problems. It was found by the Northeastern University that taxpayers sacrifices $292,000 over their course of their life for high school dropouts, imagine what that money could do if put towards the education system in bettering learning programs or programs to prevent student dropouts. What would happen to the high school dropout rate, the incarceration rate? For Jack, this hasn’t happened, instead he is out of school. Jack finds himself in a gang, the National Consensus found that 95% of hardcore gang members where high school dropouts. Jack gets arrested for armed robbery and sentenced for 10 years. The education board has grossly mismanaged the disciplinary crisis in schools but that does not mean that action should not be taken, the punishment should fit the crime. Prison construction has been based off third and fourth grade tests on reading, morality wise this is wrong, instead of fixing the problem the prison system is creating room for the problem to grow. Once Jack was incarcerated he finds education programs within prison, Jack takes to learning, finding himself loving literature, the ability to lose himself in a book. This combats his depression and Jack takes to improving himself, and is soon let off for good behaviour, with parole. The Eighth Amendment states the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments, which sentencing a juvenile without the chance of parole is a violation of, unfortunately this gets ignored in many cases. These issues within society are incredibly overlooked, and various unethical and corrupt practices need to be reformed to alleviate these issues, beginning with the zero tolerance policy. On paper, the zero tolerance policy seems like a plan that would have potential and could work, but when applied to real situations the policy proves to be incredibly generalized and falters in many situations similar to Jack’s. Had Jack not been taken out of class from the zero tolerance policy and forced down a path that ultimately lead him being incarcerated he could have realised his potential and become a successful member of society. While punishments are needed to maintain order in or out of school, the zero tolerance policy has too many flaws to be applicable to the today’s generation’s needs in school. Changing the zero tolerance policy or dropping it completely and starting from scratch, would greatly improve the educational system and drop the incarceration rate. The improvement to these factors would help economically and socially and better the next generation.