The Negative Consequences Of Zero Tolerance In Schools

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Executive Summary
Recent years have seen many students denied the right to educational opportunities- a key cornerstone of any democratic and enlightened nations- under the policies included in the zero tolerance student discipline policies. The zero tolerance concept in schools developed out of the federal drug enforcement laws of the early 1980’s. Within the context of the school, zero tolerance laws are meant to communicate strongly a message that particular behaviors are intolerable by imposing binding and programmed punishments for specific felonies. These punishments most frequent include school exclusion under expulsion and suspension policies. While the main purpose of zero tolerance policy was to create safety and order in school, there have been concerns over the past few years that these policies are actually harming students. In fact research has disclosed that these policies actually lead to disproportionate and harsh disciplines for students of color hence breeding injustice and favoritism. A series of negative consequences associated with zero tolerance couples with its unproven inefficiency in promoting safety and order in school have been studied and addressed in publications by policy analysts, researchers, and public commentators. However, synonymous researches indicate that those schools with comprehensive approaches to safety in school that entails all angles on prevention and intervention continuum can effectively reduce and address violence and
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