School Business Affairs
Zero-tolerance policies call for the consistent application of consequences for student offenses involving violence, bullying, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and weapons in school or at school-sponsored events. As educators struggled to eliminate student violence during the last 25 years, states adopted zero-tolerance statutes to address the rise of juvenile delinquency and the possession of weapons and drugs in schools.
Insofar as debates over zero-tolerance policies rage as violence, bullying, drugs, tobacco, and weapons in schools continue to be a major concern for educators, the remainder of this column is divided into three substantive sections. The first section briefly reviews arguments in favor of and against zero-tolerance policies; the next examines litigation that has involved such policies. The third offers recommendations for school business officials, their boards, and other education leaders to consider when reviewing their zero-tolerance policies. This section suggests that insofar as time may have expired on such an approach, educators would be wise to avoid strict zero-tolerance policies in favor of no-tolerance approaches that permit administrators to use their discretion in disciplining students.
Copyright © 2013, ASBO International
Association of School Business Officials
Place of Publication
Russo, Charles J., "Has Time Expired for Zero Tolerance Policies?" (2013). Educational Leadership Faculty Publications. 146.
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