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Why End Zero Tolerance?

Originally, “zero tolerance” described a school policy that “assigns explicit, predetermined punishments to specific violations of school rules, regardless of the situation or context of the behavior.” While reforms have been implemented in many communities to restrict or eliminate policies labeled “zero tolerance,” the culture spawned by the original policies remains very much alive. We use the term “zero tolerance” to refer to the array of policies and practices which facilitate the removal of students from school under a broad range of circumstances, not principally or solely in response to weapons violations or the most serious safety risks. 

About this Site

This site contains presentations, sample materials, media stories, and links to articles, videos, podcasts, policy statements, and research reports about school discipline, policing, and climate issues. If you want to research the issues, learn about successful campaigns, prepare testimony, prepare a media story, or work to improve school communities, this site is a great place to start. We look for the most helpful and informative resources, not everything produced on the subject.


Site Features

  • Site Map – gateway page to everything on the site

  • School-to-Prison Pipeline 101 – links to resources that provide a basic overview of the issues covered by the site. A great starting point

  • FAQ – Q&A about school discipline and policing

  • Using Data – a how-to guide on obtaining and using data

  • Federal Resources – data summaries, reports, and policy statements from the federal government

  • Key Issues resources about race, gender, disability, immigration, LGBTQAI+, corporal punishment, seclusion and restraint, and the punishment of young children

  • Student Safety – resources about school policing, the hardening of schools, the national debate about school safety, and the impact of various school security measures on students

  • For Educators – resources on best practices, how to implement reforms, and advice from professional associations

  • Legislation –  state laws addressing the school-to-prison pipeline

  • Blog – original short articles and opinion pieces about campaigns, new resources, and recent developments

  • For Advocates – examples of reforms and other resources for advocates

  • Our Work –  overview of the ACLU of Pennsylvania's advocacy on school-to-prison pipeline issues

About Us

Harold Jordan

Harold Jordan

Nationwide Education Equity Coordinator, ACLU-PA

Harold Jordan is Nationwide Education Equity Coordinator at the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Beyond Zero Tolerance: Discipline and Policing in Pennsylvania Schools, co-author of Cops and No Counselors: How the Lack of School Mental Health Staff is Harming Students, co-author of Student Arrests in Allegheny County Schools: The Need for Transparency and Accountability, and the editor of Know Your Rights: A Handbook for Public School Students in Pennsylvania.


Mr. Jordan serves on the professional advisory board of the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Past leadership roles include serving on the coordinating committee of the national Dignity in Schools Campaign, chairing the board of the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, a nonprofit news service reporting on the city’s public schools, and directing a national youth program at the American Friends Service Committee. Mr. Jordan participated in the 2015 White House Rethink Discipline Summit. 


Mr. Jordan is also the recipient of the Education Law Center’s Education Champion Award and the Marcienne and Herman Mattleman Award for Excellence in Public Education. He holds a degree in social thought and analysis from Washington University in St. Louis.

Ghadah Makoshi

Ghadah Makoshi

Advocacy and Policy Strategist, ACLU-PA

Ghadah Makoshi is an Advocacy and Policy Strategist with the ACLU of Pennsylvania focused on school policing reform. She brings nearly ten years of experience advocating for inclusive, quality education for all students. In September 2020, she co-authored a report with other members of the Black Girls Equity Alliance (BGEA), entitled, Disrupting Pathways to Juvenile Justice for Black Youth in Allegheny County (PDF). In January 2022, she and Harold Jordan co-authored the ACLU of PA report, Student Arrests in Allegheny County Schools: The Need for Transparency and Accountability.


Ghadah serves as the secretary and treasurer on the board of 412 Justice, and is currently on the Coordinating Committee for Dignity in Schools. She is a mom of two boys, has her undergraduate degree in English Literature, an MBA in Marketing, and a master’s in International Management. (Pittsburgh)

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