The Dark Side of Zero Tolerance: Can Punishment Lead to Safe Schools?


After four years of implementation, the National Center for Education Statistics found that schools employing zero-tolerance policies are still less safe than those without such policies. Indiscriminate use of force is the hallmark of authoritarianism. Programmatic prevention, screening and early identification, and effective discipline policies are viable alternatives.


Phi Delta Kappan


  • Reece Peterson
  • Russ Skiba

Prevention Level

  • Primary


  • Administrators
  • District Contacts
  • PBS Coaches
  • PBS Teams

System Impact

  • Whole School


  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Elementary School
  • High School
  • Mental Health
  • Middle School
  • Systems