Student Exclusion Policies
At the very heart of the controversy of zero tolerance policies with strict and punitive consequences is the argument that all children have the right to an education. The increase in number of schools employing zero tolerance policies has led to a significant increase in the number of students suspended and expelled from U.S. schools. These students face the loss of educational opportunity, which can increase the risk of negative behavior and the chances of future criminal behavior.
This is not to say that no child should be subjected to severe punitive consequences. A child who poses a danger to the health and welfare of other children due to violent or aggressive behavior should, in fact, be removed from the educational environment. But for students who don't pose a serious threat or for whom violation of a schools anti-bullying zero tolerance policy was minor, manageable, or correctable, suspension and expulsion can be overkill.