Zero Tolerance

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For the Day of Conversation - Zero Tolerance Zero Tolerance Overview, links to resources and conversation guide for the day of your conversation.
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Zero Tolerance is a policy that has been used by schools (and other organizations - police, businesses, the military, etc.) to eradicate unwanted behavior. Zero-tolerance policies establish a pre-set consequence or punishment which is intended to be a deterrent from making an infraction. In thinking about our school systems, is this policy working? In this conversation, we’ll ask you to share stories about your experience with zero-tolerance policies and explore the impact on individual lives and communities. As always, select the round three questions that best fit your group and circumstances. During the conversation, be on the look out for new areas of common ground, as well as the differences that appear to be most meaningful.


Rounds/Questions: The Living Room Conversation Starts Here
A Living Room Conversation is designed to flow through 6 rounds; 5 rounds with questions and the closing. During some rounds, each question will be addressed. In other rounds, the multiple questions are intended as conversation starters and you need only respond to the one or two that matter the most to you. In the event the conversation wanders off track, we will refer to this Conversation Guide to get it back on track.

Round One: Getting Started / Why Are We Here?
● What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round Two: Core Values
Answer one or more of the following:
● What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
● What would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you “tick”?
● What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country now and long-term?

Round Three: Zero Tolerance: When is it appropriate?
Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals. Zero Tolerance is a policy used by schools, the police, businesses, the military and other places to eradicate unwanted behavior.
Answer one or two of the following:
● Have you or someone you know been impacted by a zero-tolerance policy? What happened?
● What do you think the long-term effects of zero-tolerance policies are?
● When is zero-tolerance most effective?
● What are the alternatives to zero-tolerance policies that would eliminate unwanted behavior?

Round Four: Reflection
Answer one or more of the following questions:
● In one sentence, share what was most meaningful / valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation.
● What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on this topic?
● Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?

Round Five: Accomplishment and Next Steps
Answer both of the following questions:
● What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?
● Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Closing – Thank you! Please complete the feedback form (attached) to help improve Living Room Conversations.