ERIC Number: ED466678
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Race-Ethnicity, Class and Zero Tolerance Policies: A Policy Discussion.
Verdugo, Richard R.; Glenn, Beverly C.
This paper presents a history of zero tolerance policies, discusses the breadth and scope of zero tolerance policies in U.S. public schools, examines unintended consequences of zero tolerance policies (especially those conflicting with basic philosophical tenets of the public school system), and makes recommendations for creating and implementing sound zero tolerance policies. Current zero tolerance policies can be traced to the 1980s. They have proliferated since the 1994 signing of the Gun-Free Schools Act. The most prevalent zero tolerance policies are uniforms, closed campuses, controlled access to school, drug sweeps, random metal detector checks, and entrance way metal detectors. Research does not definitely say that zero tolerance policies are effective. These policies are inequitably directed at minority students (except Asian/Pacific Islanders). Generally, zero tolerance policies are unjust because they are blanket policies covering certain behaviors without considering the context in which such behavior occurs. The paper presents an analysis of the cultural and structural basis of student behavior, describing the oppositional stances taken by minority and low-income youth. As student behavior continues to present challenges for educators, many have turned to zero tolerance policies, which may exacerbate inappropriate behavior. Recommended strategies include creating equitable and reasonable zero tolerance policies that are not primarily punitive and that take into account the context of student behaviors. (Contains 60 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002).