Ohio’s “zero-tolerance” rules in public schools came under attack in January when state Sen. Charleta Tavares introduced bill SB 167 to reverse or reform the original 1998 law introduced as part of SB 55. The 1998 bill mandated schools “adopt a policy of zero tolerance for violent, disruptive, or inappropriate behavior, including excessive truancy.”
SB 55 also called for schools to “establish strategies to address such behavior that range from prevention to intervention,” but Tavares believes schools have opted for punishment strategies instead.
“We have moved away from common sense, ensuring that the punishment fits the infraction,” said Tavares. “We should maintain the highest form of punishment which is expulsion or suspension to those cases that cause the most harm.”