CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

Time to Suspend Zero-Tolerance School Discipline

Los Angeles Has Tried Get-Tough Approaches Toward Classroom Misbehavior. What Might Work Better?

The way discipline is enforced in American schools is changing quickly, explained Beth Shuster, Los Angeles Times education editor, at an event co-presented by the California Endowment. Zero-tolerance policies—which mandate suspensions and expulsions for a wide range of infractions—are being replaced by “restorative justice” programs that encourage student responsibility and empathy. But there’s still a long way to go. Black boys are three times more likely than their white peers to be suspended or expelled. The state of California issues more suspensions than diplomas each year. And the correlation between suspensions and dropouts remains high. It’s an issue that troubles lots of Californians, as indicated by the size of the crowd—standing room only—at the Endowment’s downtown L.A. headquarters. One local change is that the L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD) has become the first district in the state to stop suspending …