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ERIC Number: EJ868070
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0164-775X
Zero Tolerance Policies and the Public Schools: When Suspension Is No Longer Effective
Evenson, Amber; Justinger, Brooklyn; Pelischek, Elizabeth; Schulz, Sarah
Communique, v37 n5 p1, 6-7 Feb 2009
The emphasis in school discipline has shifted from a prevention and correction model to a reactive and punitive model in recent years. This major shift has occurred in response to fears among legislators and the public who are under the impression that school violence has increased. As a result, crisis response teams have been created and a zero tolerance approach to discipline has been adopted by many school districts. Zero tolerance can be defined as school-wide or district-wide policies that mandate typically harsh consequences or punishments such as suspensions and expulsions for a wide range of rule violations. The original intention of zero tolerance policies was to ensure appropriate consequences for serious and illegal behaviors. However, these policies have been implemented too broadly and too often for minor incidents, resulting in negative outcomes and demonstrating little benefit for students, schools, or the surrounding community. The current implementation practices of zero tolerance policies have led to indiscriminate suspensions for all infractions, which disproportionately affects minority students and those with disabilities. Therefore, school districts need to adopt a prevention/correction model to discipline instead of the current reactive/punitive model to remediate this troubling situation.
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A