pact of the infractions. In setting discipline policies, the school weighs the importance of a particular consequence against the long-term negative consequences of more punitive intervention. It is understood that harsh discipline might create alienation, anxiety, rejection, and the breaking of healthy adult bonds for those subjected to it. Teachers handle infractions at the classroom level whenever possible and are trained to be aware of the potential for bias when issuing referrals for discipline.

When students get into trouble, the disciplinary response focuses on repairing the social injury or damage and having the student understand how the behavior has affected other people. Students are asked to take responsibility and to suggest ways to repair the harm. For example, instead of a scenario in which students might be arrested, handcuffed, and taken to jail for a food fight (Saulny, 2009), school personnel would move swiftly to bring the behavior under control and bring students together with cafeteria workers, custodians, and teachers to be given an opportunity to explain what had happened and to identify underlying issues. The group would discuss how the incident had affected them, learn about the costs that had been incurred, and identify appropriate ways to make amends. These amends might include cleaning the cafeteria for a specific time period, raising money to pay for damage, or working side by side with the cafeteria staff. Students might also be asked to develop a plan that included their own participation in monitoring student behavior at lunchtime.

SOURCE: This section draws on the American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force (2008); Ashley and Burke (2009); and Wald and Thurau (2010).

Legal Socialization

Adolescence, marked by the development of an understanding of self as an individual and as a member of various groups (Erikson, 1958), is a crucial time for legal socialization, which has been described as a developmental process that results in the internalization of legal rules and norms that regulate social and antisocial behaviors and create a set of obligations and social commitments that restrain motivations for law violation (Fagan and Piquero, 2007). Lind and Tyler (1988) argue that the development of values and beliefs about the legal system during childhood and adolescence forms the basis for a lifelong predisposition toward authority that is a more critical motivator of attitudes toward and compliance with authoritative directives than short-term self-interest.

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