Report: Zero Tolerance Policies Have Discriminatory Effect

Youth United for Change and the Advancement Project held a press conference on January 13th in City Hall to discuss the negative effects of the School District of Philadelphia’s zero tolerance policy, which allows for suspension, expulsion or even arrest after one offense.

The report demonstrates that the policy disproportionally affects Black and Latino students and students with disabilities. For example, the report found that students with disabilities were 2.3 times more likely to be transferred to alternative schools than their non-disabled peers, and students with specific learning disabilities represented almost 8,000 of the District’s 46,000 suspensions during the 2009-2010 school year.

The policy was put in place to make schools safer, but it has led to increased dropout rates and a greater number of students being referred to the juvenile justice system.

Zero Tolerance Report