Zero Tolerance Policies in Schools May Be Losing Favor

Jul 24, 2017

Derek W. Black on the Tavis Smiley Show in 2016.
Credit Courtesy PBS/Tavis Smiley Show

In many schools across the nation in the last few decades, concerns over discipline have led to so-called “zero tolerance” policies.  USC law Professor Derek Black says suspension and expulsion rates have doubled under zero tolerance policies in the past 30 years.  Texas educator Dr. Nesa Sasser Hartford believes that the policies are justified in three specific areas – drugs, guns and sexual improprieties.  Black says that zero tolerance is cheap and efficient in the short run, but ultimately expulsion is much more expensive than keeping kids in school.  Both educators agree that, at least in most cases, zero tolerance could become outdated in the coming years.