Plans for Action
WITH FUNDING PROVIDED UNDER THE SAFE AND DRUG FREE SCHOOLS and Communities Act of 1994, over 70 percent of the largest school districts in the country have installed metal detectors in their schools. With the passage of the Gun Free Schools Act, also in 1994, Congress gave schools the go-ahead to establish [zero tolerance] policies and provided federal funding to expel students who bring weapons to school and turn the students over to juvenile authorities.
Metal detectors and zero tolerance policies may have contributed to the dramatic reduction in the number of violent crime victims in schools from 1992 to 2000, a decrease of 46 percent, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics (2002); but they have not been shown to decrease bullying, harassment, or threats that do not result in reported physical injury. On the contrary, according to all commentators in the field, bullying is on the rise in public schools, harassment is alive and well, and threats and threatening behaviors persist.
A zero tolerance policy is a school or district policy that mandates predetermined consequences, discipline, or punishments for