Monthly Article Archives: February 2012

“Zero Tolerance” in Schools: How Effective Is it?Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

This past month I had the honor of giving the keynote at The First Annual Conference of The Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. My presentation was titled “The Power of Mindsets: Creating a Positive School Climate.” MA Appleseed is part of a non-profit network of 17 public interest justice centers in the United States and Mexico. MA Appleseed’s mission is “to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for social justice issues.” The history of the Appleseed network, which was established in 1993, is noteworthy. It was founded by members of the Harvard Law School Class of 1958 who “sought to develop a new approach to pro bono legal organizations, one that focuses on broad systemic social initiatives rather than on the traditional provision of legal services to individuals.” A goal of the Appleseed centers is to identify and tackle issues of concern to a community and then collaborate with “private practice lawyers, corporate counsel, law schools, civic leaders, and other professionals to tackle these difficult social problems at their root causes.” The MA Appleseed Center, headed by Executive Director and attorney Joan Meschino, has addressed such critical issues as improving access to

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