Are Zero Tolerance Policies Effective in the Schools?: An Evidentiary Review and Recommendations

About the Course:

In an effort to ensure the safety of schools, many school districts have implemented zero tolerance policies, which has led to controversy. This report from the American Psychological Association addresses the use of such policies in schools, and includes recommendations to address the needs for discipline that can maintain school safety, while simultaneously maximizing student opportunity to learn.


American Psychological Association

Publication Date:

American Psychologist, December 2008, Vol. 63, No. 9, pp. 852–862


American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force

This article is a summary of a larger report commissioned by and completed
for the American Psychological Association (APA) by the APA Zero Tolerance Task Force. The Task Force members were Cecil R. Reynolds (chair; Texas A&M University), Russell J. Skiba(Indiana University), Sandra Graham (University of California, Los Angeles), Peter Sheras (University of Virginia), Jane Close Conoley (University of California, Santa Barbara), and Enedina Garcia-Vazquez (New Mexico State University).

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about effective policies for school-based intervention. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe the philosophy of zero tolerance and the assumptions underlying the use of such policies in school settings.

  2. Identify the controversies which have arisen from the use of zero tolerance policies in the schools.

  3. Describe the key findings from the APA Task Force’s review of zero tolerance policies.

  4. Describe the recommendations of the task force regarding disciplinary strategies for school safety while maintaining a positive learning environment.

Course Article

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Course Number: 102032
Credit Hours: 1cr
Exam Fee: $6.97
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Format: Online Article
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Popularity: 133 members have taken this course