FixingJeffreyBuffaloAssignment2

FixingJeffreyBuffaloAssignment2 - 1 Running Head FIXING...

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1 Running Head: “FIXING JEFFREY BUFFALO” - ASSIGNMENT 2 “Fixing Jeffrey Buffalo” - Assignment 2 University of Alberta
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2 “FIXING JEFFREY BUFFALO” – ASSIGNMENT 2 In reflecting upon the case of Jeffrey Buffalo, I can not help but feel a degree of upset and frustration towards the multitude of educators and board members who assessed that exclusion would be the best solution for the child. The Zero Tolerance policy is an initiative to prevent violence and drug use by implementing strict penalties for first offences, in hopes that early interference will prevent reoccurring undesirable behaviour (“The Ontario Safe Schools Act: School discipline and discrimination – Zero tolerance”, n.d.). It was also geared primarily towards stopping gang violence (Wells, 2010). I question why a policy aimed at interfering with severe criminal offences is being used to remove a little boy out of the context that provides him with the most chance to eventually improve his behaviour, while getting an education. School has historically been known as an agent of socializing, used to help children obtain knowledge concerning culture, beliefs, values and norms (Saldana, 2013). Bearing this in mind the principal of excluding Jeffrey from school until he is, as his school requested, “fixed” or until he “won’t ever misbehave” (Wells, 2010), is counterintuitive. School is used as tool, yes to educate with knowledge about the world, but also to educate about social behaviours. Many students are fortunate in that they do not have the same difficulty learning social behaviours as their peers with learning disabilities potentially do; hence, schools primarily focus on educating towards the arts and the sciences, but in doing so they are not fulfilling their full duty as educators. Assuming that all children have the ability to conform to desirable social behaviours without being taught is unfair and is oppressive to children with learning disabilities. I find it shocking that someone so young has been suspended for a total of 167 days. Clearly resorting to suspension in an attempt
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