Education Law

More schools back away from zero tolerance, including Florida's Broward County

Several school districts around the country are softening zero-tolerance policies for students’ minor offenses that led to arrests, suspensions and expulsions.

Among the school districts stepping back from the tough approach is Broward County, Fla., the New York Times reports. Last month the district signed an agreement with the local sheriff, the juvenile court, the public defender, the NAACP and other groups that aims to cut down on arrests for minor offenses at school, according to the Times and the Associated Press.

Now students accused of minor offenses in Broward County get counseling and perform community service, rather than being funneled into the court system.

Other school districts softening their approach to student offenses are Los Angeles, Baltimore, Chicago and Denver. “What you see is the beginning of a national trend here,” said Michael Thompson, the director of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, in a Times interview.

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