How Zero Tolerance Blurred the Lines Between Schools and Criminal Justice
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.
The Unintended Consequences of Taking a Hard Line on School Discipline by Clyde Haberman
More Like This
An untold story of the civil rights movement.
Anger over policing and inequality boiled over in 1967 in protests and violence across the United States. A landmark report warned that without major changes, it would happen again.
It started with one request. A friend’s sister was pregnant and suicidal. Before long a clandestine group called Jane was created to help women in Chicago with illegal abortions.
In the face of threats from the Ku Klux Klan, a group known as the Deacons for Defense helped to protect the Black community.