Zero tolerance represents not so much an intervention as a disciplinary orientation. No single accepted definition of the term zero tolerance has emerged; however, the approach is characterized by the use of more severe penalties, primarily suspension and expulsion, for both major and minor violations of the school disciplinary code, to send a message that certain behaviors will not be tolerated. Although politically appealing as a means of showing a firm resolve in the face of violence and disruption, the approach also has yielded significant educational controversy by meting out severe punishments to otherwise good students for relatively minor misbehaviors. Of greater concern in the long term, however, is an almost complete lack of documentation of positive educational effects for procedures connected ...

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