Amy P. Meek


In Goss v. Lopez, the leading case on due process requirements in school discipline, the Supreme Court emphasized that the purpose of suspending students is not just "a necessary tool to maintain order but a valuable educational device." Justice White's majority opinion recognized that the state's interest in school discipline proceedings is not merely to preserve school order but also to develop a dialogue with misbehaving students as part of the teaching process. Over the last three decades, however, the rise in "zero-tolerance" policies has hamstrung educators' flexibility to discipline students by requiring lengthy suspensions or expulsions for a variety of offenses.

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