Re: "Province ends zero tolerance," Apr. 11:


I am a child and youth worker in the educational setting and am very dismayed that the politicians are thinking of abolishing the zero tolerance policy.


I would like for them to come into the schools for a month — if they could last that long — and observe just what teachers and other support staff have to put up with in regards to negative behaviour that would lead to suspensions.


I’ve been bitten, spit at, punched, pushed, kicked, tripped and have had muscles in both hands severely bruised due to the abuse that I put up with from (some of) these students.


I can’t believe the changes that have taken place over the past few years that give students so many rights as to feel they can come to school and be as abusive as some of them are and not to be disciplined for it.

If the politicians want to abolish the policy then first they need to put into place programs for these students to attend when they should be suspended. I agree that suspending leads to these students ending up on the street if no one is home.

But when changes to the Young Offenders Act took place, that is when the students knew they had won. The older students get the younger ones involved as they know nothing will be done to young students.

I feel the politicians are making a grave mistake if they go ahead with amending this policy without putting programs in place to deal with the abuse that the teachers put up with.

Not only is their safety, the teachers, at risk, but also the other students.

I love my job but am now worried as to what will become of schools if this policy is done away with.