Youth Services Law

Zero Tolerance Policies May Harm More Children Than They Protect

dont do it!Speaking of imitation and imagination, I ran across this article describing how zero tolerance policies actually can harm children:

The zero-tolerance measures have emerged in a complex adult world navigating terrorism, bullying, reduced budgets and the emphasis on academics. But according to experts in and out of the classroom, the take-home message is children can't use the method they best understand—play—to make sense of the world around them, and to learn the socialization skills that will make them better adults.

The article cites several interesting studies, including one from the University of Maine.  Although it was a case study with a small sample, it contains some very interesting findings, starting with the belief "that children’s pretending to act aggressively is not the same as acting aggressively."

Children need to play all sorts of roles with all sorts of implements (including imaginary weapons), as they work their way toward adulthood.

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