Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Zero Tolerance in Texas public schools

A symposium on Zero Tolerance, the first of two proposed information sessions, was convened this past Saturday, April 24 at the African American Museum in South Dallas.

Participants included representatives from the following groups:  ISD administrators, judges, state and local elected offices, law enforcement, civil rights, court systems, children and youth organizations, as well as state and local school board trustees.

This educational event is a product of one of the challenges given during a 2009 lecture by Dr. Juanita Simmons, former Lincoln High School educator/now university professor, who cited some harmful effects of zero tolerance.

A presentation on "Positive Pro-Active Discipline" by Leslie Smith, Student Advocate from Austin, TX, defined the topic and scope of this half-day community discussion.

Bob Ray Sanders, Ft. Worth Star Telegram vice president and columnist, moderated a panel and posed questions to several  responders who addressed the topic from their respective positions of authority and experience with zero tolerance and student discipline.

To learn more about zero tolerance, go to:   http://www.texaszerotolerance.com

Thanks to the symposium planning committee, chaired by community advocate Earnest McMillan, for this thought-provoking event.  Audience was informed that Symposium II on Zero Tolerance will follow.

Appreciation to Dr. Harry Robinson, Jr., President/CEO of the African American Museum, for hosting the event and to Dr. Roscoe G. Smith, symposium planning committee member, for presiding.

All were enlightened by what they heard and highly anticipate Symposium II.