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0 tolerance

             In public schools, "zero tolerance" means that students are quickly suspended or expelled for breaking the law or violating school rules. These policies were initiated on the federal level by the 1994 Gun-Free Schools Act, which responded to several notorious school shootings across the country. The federal law required states to kick out students who brought firearms to school. .
             Unfortunately, many states and school districts have gone far beyond the federal Gun-Free Schools Act by enacting policies that suspend or expel students for carrying virtually any object that could be considered a weapon, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and even some drugs available over-the-counter. Some of the most troubling stories and trends have made headlines: .
             Nationally, students have been subjected to disciplinary action for bringing Midol or Advil to school, bringing a water pistol to school, and taking a slurp of Listerine during school hours. Education Week, October 23, 1996. .
             In Philadelphia public schools, 33 kindergartners were suspended in 2002 under a tough new discipline policy. The New York Times, December 14, 2002. .
             An 11-year-old died of asthma because his school's zero tolerance policy prevented him from carrying an inhaler. The New York Times, November 19, 2002. .
             In 1998, African-American students comprised 17.1 percent of the student population nationally, but 32.7 percent of those suspended. Racial Profiling and Punishment in US. Public Schools, 2001.
             Broad zero tolerance policies have brought a number of problems -- the denial of education, rise in dropout rates, increased rate of suspensions and expulsions, and racially biased impact. .
             Too Many Children Being Suspended and Expelled .
             While students are reporting school crime at the same level as in the 1970s, the number of youth suspensions has nearly doubled from 3.7% of students in 1974 (1.7 million students suspended) to 6.8% of students in 1998 (3.

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