'Zero tolerance' policies need to be tamed

The New York Times Editorial Board
June 13, 2014


The “zero tolerance” disciplinary policies that swept through the country’s schools beginning in the 1990s have led to millions of children each year being suspended, expelled and even arrested, mainly for minor misbehavior that would once have been dealt with at the principal’s office. Federal civil rights officials warned this year that these tactics are often used in a discriminatory fashion against black and Latino children, who are at greater risk of being thrown out of school and denied an education.


The good news is that these policies are being rolled back. A new report by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, a nonprofit policy group, shows that states and school districts can cut down on suspensions and unwarranted arrests at school within relatively short periods without sacrificing safety or disrupting the school environment.

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