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Natasha N. Johnson:

Thaddeus L. Johnson:

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Using the state of Georgia as a backdrop, this paper highlights the current state of the GFSA (Gun-Free Schools Act) in the United States of America, initially enacted in 1994, 30 years later. The progress of school-based ZTPs (Zero Tolerance Policies) in practice shows that progress remains slow a quarter of a century later. In response, this paper looks at the origins of school-level ZTPs, and the intended and unintended consequences and identifies strategies for making substantial progress moving forward. Using Georgia law and the Fulton County school system as drivers toward change, this paper looks at State, County, and Regional-level implementation of School-based ZTPs, in alignment with the GA legal standard, to add to the existing knowledge base in this realm. By pointing to what has and has not been working, this paper seeks to bring efficacious strategies for improvement to the forefront (i.e., increasing the use of positive, collaborative behavior interventions and supports, using aggregate data to reduce the number of disciplinary actions that force students out of the classroom, creating reasonable limits on the use of law enforcement in public schools) to allow all students to learn in environments that are safe, non-punitive, and impartial.


Published by Taylor & Francis in Cogent Education. (c) 2023 by The Authors.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.