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Learning at its Best

No Excuses for Zero Tolerance: Ageism and the Reformist Utopia

Acting as an extension in purview to Zero Tolerance measures, No Excuses is model under the reformist movement that emphasizes academic essentialism and ageist authoritarianism by operating off the general premise that youth in inner city communities have dismal educational systems because they are enthralled in a culture that cultivates “excuses.” Schools who adopt this ideology aim to stray away from “coddling” students by practicing a system of disconnect between logic and reason when it comes to leveling with the problems students face. The goal of adopting the model and its pedagogy is to create an environment where children learn how to ignore all of the stressing and tiring issues they may face and put school in the forefront of the minds. This goal, achieved by creating an environment in which teachers, support staff, and administrators receive training not to act on their natural instinct to sympathize with students and provide lateral pathways for the child.

However, in its authoritarian complex, it creates an environment where the student is essentially a prisoner in a dominating utopia led by figures who receive training, in comparison, to the likes of prison guards. Schools that use the no excuse model often apply it to every variable possible so that they can create a learning environment in which oppression is equal. The system, often rigid, allows for so little deviation that even when common sense approaches are practical and may yield a more feasible outcome the potential for stringent reprimand prevents so from happening. This approach can and often does, undermine the very reasoning for wanting an equality driven learning environment and further undermines the original intention of furthering learning.

Further, in its essentialist complex, schools who cultivate the no excuses culture create an environment that works against the natural order in which children learn. Some might even go as far as saying that the environment does not give children the control of their own learning, which again might act as a factor in undermining the potential for learning to take place. Additionally, the mere existence of an essentialist complex undermines the said reasoning behind no excuses because it works against its own logic because humans naturally act on forethought. This meaning, if the person or persons exercising the authorities granted under the complexes have disparaging feelings toward Hispanic males, Asian females, or females in general, then it is possible for that person to develop a “hear no evil, see no evil” attitude toward other populations while acting highly aware of those populations.

Concludingly, when the two work in conjunction with one another they create an academic environment that fosters domination, submission, and perfectionism. Zero tolerance initiatives strip the possibility of imaginative learning and curiosity away from children and instill a culture of quickened conformism to the point where there is a perpetuating fear amongst students and consequently teachers who disagree. The mere existence of the two initiatives creates a heightened possibility for acts of immorality to take place because those who “blow the whistle” have the possibility of removal by way of suspension, isolation, or expulsion for insubordination or defamation of character. This is because; schools use the two as a means of domination and reinforcement of their authoritarian position which enable certain acts of abuse to prevail, in part, because at all levels the culture exist in which the children become silenced through overzealous initiatives like such.

About Jabreel Chisley

I'm just a 18 year old virtual schooled student who one day wishes to own a school of my own (and to also be a lawyer.)

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