A good friend contacted me last night to share that he felt there was a disconnect (non sequitur) between the stated myth and my opinion. Some clarification may be in order. In my blog opinion on Myth #1 of the “5 Myths about Zero Tolerance Disciplinary Policies,” I was not expressing opinion as to whether this myth was correct rather simply that both professional groups are befuddled by their inability to address a subjective issue in objective terms.
In point of fact, Brett Sokolow, JD (NCHERM) an eminent legal opinion maker in higher education illustrates that during a 90 day period last year there were 40 newspaper headlines of crisis-level threats in secondary and higher education. This would clearly lead me to believe that the potential of violence is still a significant issue that must be addressed. But how should we address these threats of violence?
As long as we address these precursors to violence as “conflict resolution,” “bullying,” etc. we will continue to be befuddled by this potential of violence. “Conflict resolution” presupposed conflict! You are reacting to conflict, not preventing it! “Bullying” presupposes someone exhibiting bullying behavior. You are reacting to bullying behavior, not preventing it. Only when we understand that “conflict,” “bullying” and any predatory behaviors are simply elements of an Aggression Continuum and that through this Continuum we can foresee conflict, bullying and any predatory behavior prior to an aggressor actually exhibiting these behaviors, can we actually prevent conflict, bullying and predatory behaviors.
More can be learned by reading on in this blog . . .
Incidentally, you can read the complete article on the 5 Myths at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/discipline/5-myths-about-zero-tolerance-d.html