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54 Hous. L. Rev. 803 (2016-2017)
School-to-Prison Pipeline: An Evaluation of Zero Tolerance Policies and Their Alternatives

handle is hein.journals/hulr54 and id is 823 raw text is: 







                   COMMENT




        SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE: AN
        EVALUATION OF ZERO TOLERANCE
     POLICIES AND THEIR ALTERNATIVES*

                          ABSTRACT

    Although  our country's education system historically focused
on rehabilitative measures, concerns about school violence led to
an increased use of punitive measures during the 1990s. Reliance
on  harsh  penalties  has  grown  over  time,  leading  to the
strengthening  of the  school-to-prison pipeline: a nationwide
phenomenon   that criminalizes student misbehaviors  and  then
uses punitive consequences  that tend to push children into the
prison systems. Zero tolerance policies-regulations that require
specific punishments  for outlined student misbehaviors, many
times without  accounting for the  unique circumstances  of an
incident-are   one  of  the  school-to-prison pipeline's main
contributors. This Comment   reviews  the development  of zero
tolerance  policies and  evaluates  their  effectiveness. After
concluding that  due process requirements  will not adequately
safeguard  children  from  these  regulations,  this Comment
examines  a range of alternatives, including joint efforts between
key  stakeholders, legislative reforms, and restorative justice
practices. The conclusion of this Comment  proposes alternative
measures  that  can be used  in lieu of zero tolerance policies,
which  are more  effective in securing safe school environments
and deterring students from future misconduct.


    *  J.D. Candidate, University of Houston Law Center, 2017. I would like to thank
my family for their unconditional love, countless prayers, and unwavering support.
Special thanks to Lucia Hulsether for helping me discover the power of writing, Professor
Tobi Tabor for setting high expectations first year, Professor Ellen Marrus for her expert
feedback on this project, and the editors of the Houston Law Review for their hard work in
preparing this Comment for publication. This Comment is dedicated to my students.


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