Zero tolerance? Depends on district size
Once upon a time, many of the infractions that now get kids expelled from school used to get handled in the principal's office. The advent of zero-tolerance policies after the 1994 Gun-Free Schools Act changed all that, perhaps with unintended consequences, University of Florida doctoral candidate Brian Schoonover finds.
Now, the law that was meant to keep guns away from schools has turned into wide-ranging policies that might find 5-year-olds tossed out for bringing toy weapons to campus. What's interesting, Schoonover discovers, is that students are more likely to face zero-tolerance punishments in large Florida school districts than in small ones.
He attributes that disparity to the fact that big districts have alternative programs, while smaller districts do not.
To read more about his research, which he will present Tuesday at the National Conference for Safe Schools and Communities, click here.