The Intersection of Juvenile Courts and Exclusionary School

October 9, 2017


Prior to the passage of the Gun Free Zone Act of 1994 (GFZA), school administrators and educators were largely responsible for addressing students' misbehavior in school. However, since the implementation of GFZA, there has been an increasing number of school-related issues have come before the juvenile court due to highly punitive school policies and practices. Zero-tolerance policies and exclusionary discipline have led to what is commonly referred to as school pathways to juvenile justice. This Technical Assistance Bulletin describes the history of zero tolerance policies, exclusionary discipline, and school push out. This Bulletin describes how the effectiveness of exclusionary discipline has been called into question by education scholars, community leaders, and policymakers. The Bulletin provides real-world strategies to reduce the number of youth who unnecessarily come into contact with law enforcement and the juvenile justice system.