Is Zero Tolerance in Schools Finally Reaching an End?

The VERA institute of Justice recently published an issue brief, A Generation Later: What We’ve Learned about Zero Tolerance in Schools.  According to the brief, as zero tolerance policies have spread across the country, the use of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions have “increased roughly 40 percent” between 1972-73 to 2009-10.  “In recent years, an estimated two million students annually are suspended from secondary schools.  As a point of comparison, slightly more than three million students graduated high school in 2013.”  The brief concludes that after the zero tolerance policies have been in effect for twenty-five years, research findings and data show “no real benefit and significant adverse effects.”

The federal government is also rethinking zero-tolerance policies that do not promote safety.  In August 2013, in a speech before the American Bar Association, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stated, “[W]e’ll continue…to confront the “school-to-prison pipeline” and those zero-tolerance school discipline policies that do not promote safety, and that transform too many educational institutions from doorways of opportunity into gateways to the criminal justice system.  A minor school disciplinary offense should put a student in the principal’s office and not a police precinct.”

To explore the data on suspensions, expulsions, and school drop-outs in Indiana school districts, go to the Indiana Department of Education, Annual School Performance Reports, which has data that is searchable by school.

This entry was posted in Education, School-to-Prison Pipeline, Schools/Education and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Is Zero Tolerance in Schools Finally Reaching an End?

  1. Pingback: 2014 Interim Study Committee on Education — School Discipline | Indiana Juvenile Justice Blog

  2. Pingback: 2014 Interim Study Committee on Education -- School Discipline | Hoosier Herald

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