A zero-tolerance policy is a code of conduct in place at elementary schools, high schools and universities that set ground rules for student behavior at school or on campus. Students who violate the terms of a zero-tolerance policy can face a variety of disciplinary measures, ranging from single day suspension to full-out expulsion.
A zero-tolerance policy refers to a set of rules or guidelines a student at an institution of learning must follow or risk facing punishment. In elementary schools and high schools, zero-tolerance policies typically pertain primarily to the prohibition of weapons and drugs or other illegal substances on school property. At colleges and universities, zero-tolerance policies are expanded include a ban on any type of violence, sexism, racism, homophobia or general prejudice against another student or a member of staff. Certain educators will also institute a zero-tolerance policy for cheating or plagiarism committed by a student.