Zero Tolerance

Glossary Term

Zero Tolerance

School policy mandating predetermined consequences for various student offenses. Serious punishments (e.g., suspension, expulsion, exclusion from school) are often applied without consideration of mitigating factors or the environmental context. Zero-tolerance is often defined as swift, certain, and severe punishments for any form of behavioral misconduct at school, no matter how minor the infraction, although there is not a consensus on behaviors that may constitute zero tolerance discipline.