Zero Tolerance Policy in Schools: Rationale, Consequences, and Alternatives
by Ronnie Casella — 2003
This article discusses theory and related policies that support zero tolerance policy in schools, including rational choice theory in criminology and national crime policies based on deterrence. Potential consequences of zero tolerance policy implementation in schools are also described. These consequences are shown to involve outcomes similar to those identified by researchers who have studied national crime policy, especially in relation to incarceration. Drawing from the qualitative data, anecdotal evidence, and related research, the article concludes with suggestions for violence prevention based on a model of restorative justice, including a practical agenda for what schools may do to prevent violence and to discipline students who act aggressively.
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