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Discipline and Punishment

In the 1990s and 2000s, educators, law enforcement agencies, governments, courts, parents, and the general citizenry in the United States considered new and troubling questions pertaining to student conduct. The late 1990s witnessed a number of spectacular on-campus crimes by juveniles, including acts of murder, suicide, assault, and massive property damage. The seriousness of these events brought attention to the problems public schools face in managing students who act out in life-threatening criminal ways. Clampdown reaction to enhanced security and student protection competed with legal concerns about student constitutional rights, particularly the right to due process. Other widespread crimes in schools, such as physical conflicts between students and student drug use, weapon possession, and theft, disrupted the academic setting and all too often frustrated the true goals of education: teaching and learning.

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