Home Page     More News

ACLU Commends Traverse City Schools for Revising Harsh Zero-Tolerance Policy

The organization encourages other school districts to follow suit

October  6, 2011

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan commends Traverse City Area Public Schools today for amending its zero tolerance policy, which had previously required the district to call police on students caught stealing items worth $5 or more on campus. The organization encourages school districts across the state to follow suit and narrow the scope of their zero tolerance policies.

“School policies that impose severe discipline on students should be examined closely to ensure punishments are appropriate and just,” said Rodd Monts, ACLU of Michigan field director. "Traverse City Area Public Schools officials should be commended for their willingness to reassess their policies, recognizing that suspensions and policing don’t necessarily improve student outcomes or increase safety.”

Earlier this year, the organization contacted school officials to urge them to reconsider requiring suspension and the notification of police for instances of petty theft. The school district agreed to exclude this minor offense and revised the zero-tolerance policy to include only major instances of theft.

“Zero-tolerance policies are meant to protect our school from the most extreme offenses,” said Marvine Stamatakis, ACLU of Michigan Northwest Branch president. “While this is a relatively minor revision, changes like these can drastically decrease the likelihood of children being needlessly pushed out of school or into the justice system. Stealing lunch money shouldn’t warrant the involvement of law enforcement or possible expulsion.”

In addition, school officials agreed to include a brief description of the district’s due process policy along with disciplinary notices sent to parents of students facing punishment in order to clarify student’s rights and responsibilities.

The ACLU of Michigan has launched a state-wide evaluation of school zero-tolerance and due process policies, including the release of a comprehensive report entitled “Reclaiming Michigan’s Throwaway Kids: Students Trapped in the School-to-Prison Pipeline.” The report documents a trend amongst school districts to enforce severe disciplinary policies and practices that push children permanently out of the classroom without regard for the long-term impact. The campaign seeks to end misguided school disciplinary policies that lead to the national trend of criminalizing student behavior, referred to as the school-to-prison pipeline.  

Traverse City is home to one of seven school-to-prison pipeline committees the ACLU of Michigan has established to work to ensure student’s rights are protected, promote alternative discipline strategies to cut down on suspension rates, and to urge Michigan lawmakers to pass a bill narrowing offenses included in zero tolerance policies to the possession of a firearm.

To read Reclaiming Michigan's Throwaway Kids: Students Trapped in the School to Prison Pipeline, go to:  http://www.aclumich.org/sites/default/files/file/ACLUSTPP.pdf
Reply to all


Polar Bear Cookbook

Thank you to everyone who submitted recipes for the Polar Bear Hockey Cookbook. The cookbooks are now available. The cost for the cookbooks are $10.00 so make sure to grab one for yourself and maybe one or two as a gift. They can be purchased at the Pat O'Donnel Civic Center concession stand or by contacting Kerry Roehm or Micki Sorensen.


Read Keweenaw Now
News from Copper Country


301 S. Sophie St.
Bessemer, MI 49911
visit facebook page

"The Friendliest Motel In Town!"
447 W Cloverland Dr.
Ironwood, MI 49938  
906-932-1260 www.budgethostironwood.com

930 E Cloverland Dr # 104
Ironwood, MI 49938-1546
(906) 932-0880



200 E. Lead St.
Bessemer, MI 49911
(906) 663-4152


Phone : 906-884-4821
Toll free no: 1-877-346-2173

82824 E. Cloverland Dr.
Ironwood, MI 49938