ERIC Number: EJ1038609
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: 12
The Failure of Zero Tolerance
Skiba, Russell J.
Reclaiming Children and Youth, v22 n4 p27-33 Win 2014
There is no doubt that the safety of children in schools and in communities is paramount. Incidents of school violence in the United States have motivated researchers and practitioners to explore and employ effective methodologies and strategies to promote safety in classrooms and schools. Still, issues of disruptive behavior top the list of concerns about education among teachers and parents. The message of zero tolerance is intuitively appealing. When disruption and disorder threaten schools and communities, it becomes increasingly easy to accept the notion that greater authority and force are necessary in order to keep schools secure. This article suggests that exclusionary, zero tolerance approaches to school discipline are not the best way to create a safe climate for learning. Increasingly, there are sound alternatives available to schools that can promote a safe school climate conducive to learning without removing large numbers of students from the opportunity to learn or creating a more negative school climate through increased punishment. The preeminent researcher on zero tolerance reviews the evidence about these practices and proposes a preventive model to insure school safety without discarding our most marginalized youth.
Descriptors: Zero Tolerance Policy, Discipline Policy, School Safety, Program Effectiveness, Intervention, Suspension, Prevention, Classroom Techniques, Conflict Resolution, Parent Participation, Community Involvement, Early Intervention, Mental Health, Data Collection, Juvenile Justice, Evidence
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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