Changing a severe “zero tolerance” policy in schools that has resulted in a barrage of suspensions and expulsions could lead to better educational outcomes, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Council of State Governments Justice Center.
According to The School Discipline Consensus Report: Strategies from the Field to Keep Students Engaged in School and Out of the Juvenile Justice System, such “zero tolerance” discipline practices have led to a harsh crackdown on students across the country with a corresponding detrimental effect on learning, including a higher likelihood of falling behind in school, higher dropout rates, and increased odds of coming into contact with the juvenile justice system for the students involved. The new study from researchers Emily Morgan, Nina Salomon, Martha Plotkin, and Rebecca Cohen found that suspensions and expulsions disproportionately affect minority students, students with mental health issues, and LGBT students. In surveying social workers, educators, health care providers, and law enforcement officials over the course of three years, the report offers recommendations and strategies to create positive, safe learning environments for all students.
To read the full report, please click here.