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The effects of peer-mediation on suspension of middle school students - Dissertation Example

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The research seeks to answer the questions: What are the benefits of using a conflict resolution model? Do conflict resolution models decrease suspensions? Can this model work with School A? If so, what is the best way to implement this program?…
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The effects of peer-mediation on suspension of middle school students
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Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that since 2001, children in grades K-12 have become the focus of attention because of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This legislation made schools across the country focus on student achievement and standardized testing. This testing brought with it a set of problems that encouraged many schools to stop extracurricular activities like music and art, and many have also stopped recess. In the process of this focus, another focus also became apparent after the school shootings at Columbine High School in 1999. These school shootings created a mass apprehension in high schools across the country about bullying and school violence. Since the Columbine incident, many schools have noticed a rise in student aggression, conflict and school violence. Unfortunately, when students create this type of behavior, and it comes to the attention of the administration, the students are usually suspended. This trend to suspend has affected minority students more often than non-minority students and there is a larger prevalence of suspensions in urban school districts with large minority populations. In a study by the Southern Poverty Law Center that surveyed 9,000 middle schools, and which involved a national sample, the research found that 28.3% of black males were suspended four times as often as non-minority males. Hispanic males also had a 16.3% higher risk of suspension than their white peers. In the same study, 18 urban districts were examined and 175 middle schools in the districts suspended more than one third of their black male students. ...
The most prevalent reasons were defying authority or not going to in-school suspensions. There is no doubt that there has been an increase in school suspensions over the last several years between 2003 through 2011. Sisco (2004) also speaks to this topic and states that these children are being suspended for breaking small school rules but also for behavior problems like fighting, bringing weapons to school, drug possession, bullying or other aggressive or disruptive actions. Many schools have a no tolerance policy which means that certain behaviors like bullying or violent behavior brings about automatic suspension. However, these measures do not seem to be working in most cases because the behaviors continue (Losen and Skiba, 2010; Sisco, 2004, Lane-Garon, Ybarra-Merlo, Zajac, J., & Vierra, 2005). Losen and Skiba (2010) pointed out that the middle school experience is important to a student’s future academic success. The challenge at this level is that suspensions can create repercussions that are long-term which means that students will lose aspects of instruction that may be important to their future success. Some of these children will who do not change their behaviors will go to prison where they may lose time in education while they are going through the process of problems with law enforcement (Losen and Skiba, 2010). Losen and Skiba also found that those suspended were generally black or Hispanic males along with a small number of female Hispanic or black females. The fact that these children are “being removed from the opportunity to learn at a much higher rate than their peers” (Losen and Skiba, 2010, p. 8) creates more problems for them academically as they move from ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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