Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

Zero Tolerance Policies in Schools

Zero tolerance policies identify predefined consequences for infractions of specific school policies intended to promote safety and control behavior. However, research over the past 20 years has indicated these policies have little effect in promoting and improving school safety or student behaviors, and actually lead to disproportionate consequences for minority populations. Research suggests schools should develop disciplinary policies in accordance with evidence-based programs, and incorporate primary prevention.