“Given the steadily increasing use of zero tolerance policies, the alarming rate of suspensions in school districts across Michigan, the lack of evidence these policies improve safety, and negative impact these disciplinary actions are having on students outcomes, the State Board of Education calls for schools across the state to adopt discipline policies without mandated suspension or expulsion for issues that do not involve weapons.”
MI State Board of Education, June 2012
There is a disturbing trend how the current Michigan Zero Tolerance Law for education is being administered. Youth Voice, Michigan Prophetic Voices, and Michigan Organizing Collaborative leadership from the statewide organizing network of Harriet Tubman Center believe that revising Zero Tolerance is crucial.
We fully understand and support zero tolerance for serious offenses related to the safety of students and school personnel, but we find it troubling when a student can be suspended or expelled for minor offenses (such as truancy, disorderly conduct, insubordination, uniform violations or a missing ID badge). These situations are counter to the intention of ensuring that all students have the best opportunity for academic success.
Therefore, we support the following amendments or changes to the Zero Tolerance Law:
These changes would not preclude educators from suspending or expelling students; they encourage alternatives to suspensions and expulsions and ensure better access to education.
Schedule a meeting with your local legislatures and YOUTH VOICE will attend with you! Give us a call at (313) 285-9710 or email Kinda at email@example.com once the meeting is confirmed.
Modify Zero Tolerance