I wrote earlier about some of the problems with our prison system – that we try to solve crime by punishing it, rather than focusing on ways to prevent it. The zero-tolerance program in Maryland’s schools, which punished students regardless of extenuating circumstances, suffers from analogous issues. But that’s about to change. The State Board of Education moved closer on Tuesday to approving new regulations banning zero-tolerance. After an exhaustive review of the state’s disciplinary policies, the board released its recommendations on new disciplinary regulations and they include a ban on zero-tolerance. The board expects to adopt the changes in the next few months, following a 30-day public comment period.
It’s really a relief to see the state going this route, and hey, maybe 20 years down the line we’ll see it happening in our prisons too.