Drug Possession Largest Zero Tolerance Violation

A new report shows that 63 percent of zero tolerance violations in Tennessee schools were drug related for the 2004-2005 school year.

A zero tolerance violation can result in a student being expelled, without prior violations or warnings.

Most zero tolerance violations took place in 8th, 9th, and 10th grade.

Researchers with the Comptroller’s office of Education Accountability compiled the survey. They recommend that this age group be targeted for prevention programs. Assistant Director Phillip Doss says 9th grade in particular is a transitional time for many kids.

“You know they’re moving out of middle school into high school, there’s a lot of stress, a lot of strain, there’s a lot of need to be accepted into new groups and that sort of stuff. There is also initiation, that kind of stuff, into new groups, so there’s a lot of psychological turmoil in a kid’s mind at that age.”

In Metro schools, illegal drug possession was the largest zero tolerance violation, but at 36 percent, it is significantly lower than the state average.

Possession of non-firearm weapons ranked second at 29 percent, while battery against staff ranked third at 28 percent for zero tolerance expulsions in Davidson County.

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