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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Zero tolerance = zero intelligence: Juvenile judge

Most schools in the Atlanta area - "and across the nation" - have “zero-tolerance” policies where fighting's considered, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. But Judge Steven Teske, president of the Council of Juvenile Court Judges of Georgia, told the Journal-Constitution that "zero tolerance is zero intelligence. It’s merely a political response, a knee-jerk reaction and often not put much thought is put into it.” Under that policy, both bully and victim are disciplined and schools don't find out who the primary aggressor and get to the bottom of the problem, which can help change behavior. Aaron Hansen, principal of a middle school in Ely, Nevada, reportedly has had success identifying and working with bullies at his school to change their behavior - see this report at Fox News.

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