Since the Columbine massacre in the wake of the "unsafe schools" environmental plague, congress and school administrators have searched for a solution. As a result of this search, zero tolerance policies have become a societal nonn in the American education system. Although the intentions of these policies seem clear and unarguable, the negative effects of these policies have been overlooked. Zero tolerance policies have created an environment of hasty decisions and dramatic punishments which have unfairly and disproportionately attacked students with learning disabilities and students of color. The result of large numbers of students of color being pushed out of schools has directly influenced the school to prison pipeline, which is largely uncontrollable once a student has been suspended, or worse, expelled. As a response to the severely negative effects of zero tolerance policies, I propose that we replace this outdated practice with a new concept, restorative justice, which I explain in this essay.
"NET ZERO: The True Outcome of Zero Tolerance Policies in Schools,"
Augsburg Honors Review: Vol. 10
, Article 4.
Available at: https://idun.augsburg.edu/honors_review/vol10/iss1/4