Zero tolerance task force report

Introduction

Although there can be no dispute that schools must do all that can be done to ensure the safety of learning environments, controversy has arisen about the use of zero tolerance policies and procedures to achieve those aims.

In response to that controversy, and to assess the extent to which current practice benefits students and schools, in June of 2005, the American Psychological Association convened a task force to examine the research conducted to date on the effects zero tolerance policies have on children in schools.

The task force reviewed the last 10 years of research to determine whether these policies have made schools safer without taking away students' opportunity to learn; whether they incorporated children's development as a factor in types of discipline administered; and whether educators referred juveniles to the justice system too often with costly consequences. Lastly, the review showed how families and communities are affected by these policies.

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