“It’s not going to happen to my kid.”: The Zero Tolerance Generation, Pt V

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Previously: Part Four

At this point, if zero tolerance were a person, it would be old enough to vote. But despite efforts at rolling back some of the policies propping it up, many people still remain unaware of its flaws, and its defenders can come from some surprising quarters, according to those who’ve fought against it for years.

“Look, at this point it’s empirically demonstrated that there will be consequences to these policies, and that they will disproportionately hit low-income students and students of color,” Sapp says. “But people either aren’t aware of it or they think, ‘It’s not going to happen to my kid.’ And sadly, that’s kind of true. A lot of this policy’s being driven by whiter, more affluent parts of America that aren’t going to be affected by the negative consequences.”

Look at the media coverage of the issue over the years, for example. With some exceptions, it has generally focused on a few absurd incidents, usually in more suburban areas, and usually with no mention of the even harsher, longer-lasting effects on the rest of the country…

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