The term juvenile delinquent is best defined as young defender, or a wrongdoer. A person who transgresses moral or civil law. (Audioenglish. net) There are many different theories on the causes of crime and bad behavior. Youth crime is a major issue and receives a great amount of attention from the news media and many politicians today. A juvenile delinquent is one who continuously commits crimes. Usually a juvenile will sometimes commit the same crimes that were done to them to others. An example would be bullying in school.
Maybe the juvenile was bullied as well. They also sometimes have mental disorders or behavioral disorders. Students who experience excessive suspension and expulsion are more likely to become part of the school to prison pipeline (Fenning & Rose, 2007). Now being examined is the issue of the school to prison pipeline and trying to understand how students who drop out (or are pushed out) of high school are more likely to enter the prison system (Fine, 1991). Students feel pushed out of school because of actions or barriers put up by their school.
The student may end up feeling like they don’t belong in school, or do not fit in, or they are not smart enough to be in school. This then pushes them towards the streets and into bad behavior that leads them to becoming a juvenile delinquent. According to Brownstein, the zero tolerance is a failed approach. This policy is used to mandate predetermined consequences for rule infractions, regardless of the circumstances; it’s initially aimed at making schools safe. The best way to prevent serious violence at school, the theory went, was to ban any and all weapons of threats of violence, and accept no excuses. Browstein, 2010).
Zero tolerance policies may be contributing to teen violence. Suspensions and expulsions in public schools have increased dramatically. Between 1974 and 2006, the rate at which U. S. students were suspended and expelled from school nearly doubled from 3. 7% of students in 1974 to &. 1% of students in 2006. It is estimated that over 100,000 students were expelled and 3,300, 000 students were suspended at least once in the 2005-2006 school year which is an 8% increase in suspensions and a 15% increase in expulsions since the 2001-2001 school year. Brownstein, 2010) Today schools are getting carried away with the “zero tolerance” policy somewhat.
Instead of helping to resolve a simple conflict in which they would call home for, they are now calling law enforcement. Too many school incidents that can be handled by the school are now being taken care of by the police and courts. ( Brownstein, 2010) An example given in the article talked about how a Columbus, GA teen student was expelled for violating school rules by talking to his mother whom he had not spoken to in thirty days, on his cell phone while at school.
His mother was on deployment as a soldier in Iraq. It is common sense that the choice of disciplinary action was extremely harsh. There is no way to justify expelling this student given the circumstances of the phone call. Therefore, this example surely helps you to see exactly how this “zero tolerance” policy is indeed failing our children. Trying to get you to understand that yet the policy is put in place to protect the school faculty and other students from violent behavior from certain students, it is also being used in incidents that do not need to be presented to law enforcement.
Expulsion and suspension disciplinary action is not making our schools safer or more academically sound. In fact, schools with high rate expulsion and suspensions usually have less satisfactory school ratings according to the American Psychological Association. This suggests to me that it also contributes to children becoming juvenile delinquents due to harsh punishment and the things that they are currently dealing with in their personal lives. I will point out how African American students are suspended at nearly three times the rate and expelled at 3. times the rate of white students, according to the U. S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Latino students are 1. 5 times as likely to be suspended when compared to white peers. It seems that the white students get referred to the office at a higher rate than students of color for offenses such as smoking, vandalism, leaving without permission, and obscene language.
African-American and Latino students are referred for discipline at a higher rate than their white peers for disrespect, excessive noise, and loitering. Brownstein, 2010) These behaviors you would think would seem to rely on subjective judgment on the part of educators. Maybe this is part of the reason why most students of color are failing in school and become juvenile delinquents somewhere along the line. They are hardly allowed the chance to stay in class if they are consistently disciplined harshly over fairly minor infractions that can be handled by the parents and teacher alone. Educators need to take the time out to think about what they are disciplining a student for, and how they are disciplining them and the consequences that lie ahead if you are too harsh.
It is the same way when it comes to a parent raising children. You must know when you are being too excessive when it comes to punishment. Conclusion Promote the students positive behavior more and maybe the outcome will be different. Behavior begins at home. Parents come first when it comes to making sure your child/children act accordingly in public. It is a group effort also if you are taking on the responsibility of teaching someone’s child. You can’t just give up on the child, or take the easiest route such as harsh discipline.
There has to be a system put in place in the home and in the schools to turn around bad behavior to avoid our children being introduced to the jail system turning them into juvenile delinquents. There also must be a system put in place in the home and school to look at certain incidents that happen in school not all in the same light. How we raise our children will be the result you get out of the situation. Strive to raise them the right way, and educators should stop relying on law enforcement to handle what can be handled between themselves, the student and the parents.
Courtney from Study Moose
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