Zero tolerance discipline policies were once all the rage in schools.
But instead of improving test scores and graduation rates, zero tolerance policies were shown to actually reduce them, says Daniel Losen, director of the Civil Rights Project’s Center for Civil Rights Remedies. Research also showed that in practice, many children—especially children of color and children with disabilities—were being suspended and sometimes expelled for extremely minor infractions.
So now that zero tolerance is falling out of favor, what does this mean for schools and the juvenile justice system? Stephanie Francis Ward speaks with Losen, an attorney and former teacher, about how school districts and lawyers can help plug the school-to-prison pipeline.