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Addressing the problem of school violence and disruption requires thoughtful understanding of the complexity of the personal and systemic factors that increase the probability of violence, and designing interventions based on that understanding. This inaugural issue explores the effectiveness of zero tolerance as a tool for promoting school safety and improving student behavior and offers alternative strategies that work. Authors examine the state of knowledge in research and law concerning zero tolerance and present data illustrating that zero tolerance has failed to demonstrate effectiveness in reducing school violence or improving student discipline. They present disciplinary alternatives, long-term preventatives, and working models that make a positive contribution to school safety and support positive youth development.
Editors' Notes (Russell J. Skiba, Gil G. Noam).
Executive Summary (Russell J. Skiba, Gil G. Noam).
1. Zero tolerance, zero evidence: An analysis of school disciplinary
practice (Russell J. Skiba, Kimberly Knesting).
2. School expulsion as a process and an event: Before and after
effects on children at risk for school discipline (Gale M. Morrison, Suzanne Anthony, Meri H. Storino, Joanna J. Cheng, Michael J. Furlong, Richard L. Morrison).
3. Zero tolerance: Unfair, with little recourse (Judith A. Browne, Daniel J. Losen, Johanna Wald).
4. Alternative strategies for school violence prevention (Joseph C. Gagnon, Peter E. Leone).
5. The best approach to safety is to fix schools and support children and staff (David M. Osher, Susan Sandler, Cameron Lynn Nelson).
6. Beyond the rhetoric of zero tolerance: Long-term solutions for at-risk youth (Gil G. Noam, Laura A. Warner, Leigh Van Dyken).