Institutional Scholarship

The Rationalized Yet Unnecessary Policy: The Consequences of Zero Tolerance Discipline Policies in U.S. Public Schools

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dc.contributor.advisor Willie-LeBreton, Sarah
dc.contributor.advisor Costelloe, Sarah
dc.contributor.author Kelley, Catherine
dc.date.accessioned 2014-06-10T19:57:24Z
dc.date.available 2014-06-10T19:57:24Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/14072
dc.description.abstract The goals of this thesis are to highlight the unintended consequences of zero tolerance policies in U.S. public schools and the context surrounding the initial use of zero tolerance policies in schools by uniting existing bodies of research from the past two decades. The prominence of zero tolerance policies has led to the overuse of out-of-school suspension for nonviolent offenses such as tardiness and classroom disruption. It has further led to minority students, especially African American students, being disciplined at higher rates compared to their white peers. I argue that zero tolerance policies are not inherently racist or discriminatory policies, yet their varying implementation in schools has led to a severe discriminatory effect in suspension rates, high school completion, and the number of students referred to the juvenile justice system. Therefore, the influence of zero tolerance should be eliminated from school discipline policies in favor of highly effective alternative policies, specifically System-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and restorative justice practices. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Swarthmore College. Dept. of Educational Studies en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Swarthmore College. Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.rights Full copyright to this work is retained by the student author. It may only be used for non-commercial, research, and educational purposes. All other uses are restricted.
dc.subject.lcsh School children -- Discipline
dc.subject.lcsh School discipline -- Law and legislation -- United States
dc.subject.lcsh Student suspension
dc.title The Rationalized Yet Unnecessary Policy: The Consequences of Zero Tolerance Discipline Policies in U.S. Public Schools en_US
dc.type Thesis (B.A.)


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