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ERIC Number: ED440179
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
A History of Systemic Violence: School Policy and Student Attrition.
Epp, Juanita Ross; Epp, Walter
This paper examines how policies on student behavior and attendance are used to push students into dropping out of school. Although in the public mind the proliferation of dropouts is associated with a drain on the economy, there is no real evidence to indicate either that there actually are large numbers of dropouts or that dropping out is directly connected to economic downturns. Mandatory education for all may be a mirage if one considers the role that behavior and attendance policies play in providing built-in mechanisms by which schools can expel nonconforming students. Both schools and students are aware that compulsory attendance only applies within a stipulated boundary. In the application of school behavior policies, students who breech protocol are more likely to be expelled from school than they are to be helped and supported in understanding and rectifying their behavior. School attendance policies serve similar ends. The stipulated consequences for nonattendance are the same as for any other prohibited behavior--exemption from the compulsory attendance rules. Infractions of both behavior and attendance policies are assumed to be the fault of the student, and the school is released from its duty to provide an education for the student without being implicated as the source of the problem. It is time to rethink the assumptions behind compulsory education, school policies, punishments, and "the dropout problem." More support for students and teachers and inventive ways to deal with problems without excluding students from schools are needed, as are internal mechanisms to ensure that schools do not contribute to student attrition and an examination of the application of compulsory education in the postmodern society. (Contains 33 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada