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PNS Daily Newscast - July 23, 2019 


A bipartisan deal reached to avert U.S. government default. Also on our Tuesday rundown: a new report calculates the high hospital costs for employers. Plus, new legislation could help protect Florida's at-risk wildlife.

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Taking Aim at IL “Zero Tolerance” School Policies

February 11, 2008

Chicago, IL – From the schoolyard to the prison yard, even for honor students. A Grayslake Central High School honor roll student heads to court this month to face criminal charges for accidentally bringing a flashlight multi-tool to school, which contained a knife blade. The case is bringing calls from parents and neighbors asking for a review of schools' "zero tolerance" policies.

Marsha Weissman, with the Center for Community Alternatives, says thousands of students are kicked out of school each year in Illinois as a result of "zero tolerance" rules. Weissman's research has found students of color and those from low-income families are disproportionately affected.

"We're depriving them of their right to an education. And I think at the end of the day, we're really harming our society by not preparing young people to take their place in the world."

Weissman says 60 percent of black Illinois students kicked out of public school end up in the corrections system at some point in their lives.

"There is a very clear link between school and either making it in life, or winding up in a prison cell."

"Zero tolerance" policies were initiated on the federal level in the late 1980s in an effort to reduce school violence.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - IL