Middle Tennessee principals' perception of the effectiveness of zero tolerance laws

Diana Dawn Brown, Tennessee State University

Abstract

All Tennessee public schools have zero tolerance laws that, at the minimum, cover behaviors such as weapons, drugs, and assault of a school employee. Some districts have expanded the zero tolerance policies to include other behaviors. Any student found to be in violation of the zero tolerance policy is expelled for no less than one calendar year. The review of related literature revealed that there is virtually no research regarding the effectiveness of zero tolerance laws. ^ The purpose of this research was to determine the effectiveness and the primary purpose of zero tolerance laws as perceived by principals of middle and high schools in seven Middle Tennessee counties. The seven counties included: Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Cheatham, and Robertson. ^ This research was a quantitative study with descriptive and inferential statistics for related samples. Principals from seventy-six middle and high schools in Middle Tennessee were sent questionnaires concerning their perception of the effectiveness an the primary purpose of zero tolerance laws. Fifty-eight principals returned the completed questionnaires to the researcher. ^ The collected data revealed the following results: (1) the principals perceived that zero tolerance laws have been effective in reducing school violence; (2) there were statistically significant differences in the perception of the effectiveness of zero tolerance laws between male and female principals and principals among different age groups; (3) there were no statistically significant differences in the perception of the effectiveness of zero tolerance laws among principals of different levels of education, different years of experience, different school enrollments or different school locations; (4) there were no statistically significant differences in the perception of the effectiveness of zero tolerance laws between principals of different ethnic groups or different school types; (5) there were statistically significant differences in the principals' perception of the primary purpose of zero tolerance; and (6) there were statistically significant differences in the way principals defined zero tolerance. ^

Subject Area

Law|Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Diana Dawn Brown, "Middle Tennessee principals' perception of the effectiveness of zero tolerance laws" (2001). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3024615.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3024615

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