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ERIC Number: ED454324
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Feb-18
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Racial Disparities Related to School Zero Tolerance Policies: Testimony to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Keleher, Terry
This report presents findings from a national study of school discipline and zero tolerance policies in school districts nationwide. Findings indicate that in every district studied, there are significant racial disparities in student suspensions and expulsions. By increasing school expulsions, zero tolerance policies have a disproportionate adverse impact on students of color. Zero tolerance policies are often implemented in unfair ways. They can curtail the expression of reasonable professional judgment by school educators and administrators and limit students' and parents' right to due process. There is a significant reporting deficiency in disciplinary actions in U.S. public schools. This report recommends that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights initiate a full investigation of racial disparities related to zero tolerance policies; support comprehensive, consistent, and centralized school discipline reporting; encourage states and school districts, through federal policies and funding initiatives, to set and meet measurable, quantitative goals to reduce the overall numbers of suspensions and expulsions and to eliminate racial disparities; recommend the elimination of zero tolerance policies in favor of a more flexible approach to serious discipline policies; and encourage Congress to explore more preventive practices, rather than punitive policies, to minimize school disciplinary problems. Appendixes include suspension and expulsion data by race/ethnicity, students expulsions per year in the Chicago public schools (1993-2000), and zero tolerance policies in Providence, Rhode Island public schools. (SM)
Applied Research Center, 3781 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611. Tel: 510-653-3415; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Applied Research Center, Oakland, CA.