Zero Tolerance, Zero Benefits: The Discipline Gap in American Public K-12 Education

Erin Russ


Zero tolerance discipline is supposed to make schools a safe place for all students to learn and grow. School administrators are empowered to enforce strict penalties on minor offenses in order to stop trouble early. However, these same zero tolerance policies have hurt the most vulnerable students, both along academic and racial lines. A more effective discipline policy would address the root cause of bad behavior, rather than extend severe punishments for small infractions.

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