Unraveling Zero Tolerance in our Public Schools (video)

Usually a one-size-fits-all approach only really works for “one size” —

Public Schools across the nation may or may not fit the mold when it comes down to federally mandated policies as they might relate to disciplinary measures.

Over the last 30 years, schools across the country have enacted tough disciplinary policies. Did they go too far?

In the 1980s and 1990s, as crime rates started to rise, schools across the country began to crack down on violence, disorder and weapons in the classroom.

A new “get tough” approach to discipline took hold that increasingly relied on swift punishment, suspensions and arrests.

By the mid-90s, that approach to discipline had been given a name: “zero tolerance.” In 1994, the federal government called for zero tolerance, or mandatory one-year expulsion, for anyone who brought a gun to school.

But many schools went even further, using a zero tolerance approach for other weapons, drugs and all sorts of misbehavior. By 2011, more than three million students a year were being suspended and nearly 250,000 were being referred to the police by their schools.

And those harsh punishments were much more likely to impact minorities and students with disabilities.

Have these policies gone too far? Or not far enough?

Watch this story by Retro Report and give us your opinion on the matter in the comments section below —

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