Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Zero Tolerance




A Tale of Two Approaches to Student Discipline

Summary:  This article reports on two different studies – one in New York City and the other in Alabama – which take different approaches to handling student discipline.  In New York, suspensions and arrests in city schools are down while in Alabama, many districts still adhere to zero tolerance policies with many suspensions and expulsions.

Source: Tara Garcia Mathewson, Education DIVE, November 2, 2016

Categories:  Student Behavior, Zero Tolerance, Codes of Conduct




Suspending Students From School: Does it Work?

Summary:  The high numbers of suspensions in US schools have sparked an important debate among educators, physicians, and lawmakers on the effectiveness of Out of School Suspension (OSS), with particular emphasis on whether it does more harm than good.  This article covers the history of school discipline and suggests some alternatives to suspension.

Source: Adam Guitierrez, Edudemic, October 10, 2016

Categories: Student Behavior, Codes of Conduct, Zero Tolerance




The Unintended Consequences of Taking a Hard Line on School Discipline

Summary:  This article explores the effects of taking a “zero tolerance” approach to disciplinary issues.  This article also tell the story of Joe Clark and how he instituted zero tolerance in a Paterson, NJ high school.  The question is are we to educate all students and does this mean we need to find a different discipline approach in order to reach the students most in need of being connected to school.

Source:  Clyde Haberman, New York Times, October 2, 2016

Categories:  Zero Tolerance, Codes of Conduct, Student Behavior, Restorative Justice



Study: Time to End the Broken Windows Approach to School Discipline

Summary:  This is a conversation with Dan Losen who says charters need to stop using zero-tolerance policies and suspending students at high rates. The zero tolerance policy know as “broken windows” often punishes students from minority groups as well as special education students at a disproportional rate.  Losen refers to a new study in his comments on this issue.

Source:  Jennifer Berkshire, HuffPost Education, March 18, 2016

Categories:  Zero Tolerance, Codes of Conduct, Student Behavior



Rethinking Student Discipline and Zero Tolerance

Summary: The U.S. Department of Education kicked off a “Rethinking Discipline” campaign over the summer that could help bring attention to “restorative practices,” an alternative to the zero-tolerance policies that are standard practice in many schools.  This article advocates for the use of restorative practices rather than zero tolerance and reports on ongoing research conducted by the RAND Corporation which will provide empirical evidence on this issue.

Source:  By Joie Acosta, Matthew Chinman, John Engberg, & Catherine Augustine, Ed Week Commentary, October 14 2015

Categories: Codes of Conduct, Restorative Practices, Zero Tolerance



Seattle Ends Suspensions for Elementary Students

Summary:  This article reports on a decision by the Seattle School Board to end suspensions for elementary students for nonviolent offenses.  This is partly in response to a concern about disproportionate treatment of minority groups for behavioral issues.

Source: Kate Schimel, Education DIVE, September 25, 2015

Categories:  Codes of Conduct, Student Behavior, Zero Tolerance



Handcuffing of Students Reignites Debate on Use of Restraint

Summary:  This article provides information on an American Civil Liberties lawsuit stemming from the overuse of restraint by a school resource officer in Kentucky.  The officer was shown in a video to use handcuffs to restrain a student with ADHD.

Source: Christina A. Samuels, Education Week. August 19, 2015 Issue

Categories:  Codes of Conduct, Zero Tolerance



4 Alternatives to Zero Tolerance Discipline

Summary: As national conversations over race and discipline gain steam, schools have a variety of choices.  This article identifies four programs that have the potential to help school districts provide equal access, treatment, and opportunity for ALL students.

Source: Kate Schimel, Education DIVE, August 12, 2015

Categories: Codes of Conduct, Zero Tolerance



Beyond zero tolerance punishments: Suggestions for administrators

Summary:  The choice to move away from zero tolerance punishments is gaining traction nationally. The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the nation, recently announced it would move away from a zero tolerance punishment plan. Henceforth, students caught participating in low level offenses would be directed toward work with a school guidance counselor.

Source:  Allie Gross, Education Dive K-12, August 26, 2014

Caategories:  Student Behavior, Codes of Conduct, Zero Tolerance