Zero Tolerance, Zero Evidence: An Analysis of School Disciplinary Practice

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By Russell Skiba 

Indiana Education Policy Center

This report explores the effects and side-effects of extreme punishment - usually suspension or expulsion - for all levels of infraction in schools across the country. The report calls the debate between civil rights and zero tolerance moot when so little reliable evidence exists showing the efficacy of the latter. As an alternative, Skiba proposes an approach that some districts have begun to employ: "an early response model of school discipline," which acknowledges the need to focus attention on students committing minor infractions, but reserves severe measures for the most serious infractions. 22 pages. $6. Indiana Education Policy Center, Smith Research Center, 170, 2805 E. 10th St., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408. (812) 855-1240. E-mail: