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January 09, 2014 Practice Points

Zero Tolerance Does Not Make Schools Safer

By Cathy Krebs

The Center on Youth Justice at the Vera Institute of Justice has released A Generation Later: What We've Learned about Zero Tolerance in Schools. The brief gives an overview of research on zero tolerance. Several broad research studies reveal that harsh zero-tolerance discipline policies do not make schools safer but instead put children at risk for dropping out of school and future involvement with the juvenile-justice system.  The brief also describes alternatives to zero- tolerance policies that have been shown to keep students in schools and safe.

Keywords: litigation, children's rights, zero tolerance, discipline policies, schools

Cathy Krebs is the committee director of the ABA Section of Litigation's Children's Rights Committee in Washington, D.C.

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