Stop Unfair Implementation of Zero Tolerance in CA Schools
  • Petitioned California Board of Education

This petition was delivered to:

California Board of Education
Sunnyvale School District
Peter Fong
California State Senate
California State House
State Rep. Kevin Mullin
Rep. Jackie Speier

Stop Unfair Implementation of Zero Tolerance in CA Schools

    1. Petition by

      Julie Colwell

      Sunnyvale, CA

It has come to the attention of the parents and students in the Sunnyvale School District that the Zero Tolerance Law has been unfairly and inappropriately implemented in our district.

We want the California Education Code, Section 48915 modified to give administrators and district officials more flexibility in implementation.

We want administrators and district officials required to take age, intent, and circumstances into account when levying punishment.

If a child is accused of a Zero Tolerance violation, we want an advocate assigned to work with them in addition to the administrators and district officials.  

We want the burden of proof to be on the accuser as it is in the adult criminal justice system.

We want reasonable punishments appropriate to each infraction, not automatic expulsion and police intervention.

We want the CA Penal Code and Constitutional rights to be administered and followed when investigating incidents.

We want a dialogue between administrators, district officials, and community members.



Recent signatures


    1. Stopping Zero Tolerance beyond Sunnyvale

      Julie Colwell
      Petition Organizer

      This problem is not exclusive to Sunnyvale School District. All CA schools are obligated to follow Zero Tolerance, although some districts are less likely to implement it as harshly as ours. Please feel free to spread the word to your friends. It takes a lot of people pushing back to change the rules.

      If you are in the SESD, please consider coming to the district meeting at 7pm on Thursday, March 1 at the district office. The more people who attend, the clearer the message: this is not how we want our kids treated.

      Thank you for your encouragement.

      Much appreciated,

    2. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Abraham walczak SUNNYVALE, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      I can not believe that child could be subjected to this type of treatment. We should not tolerate the school system to treat a young child to be treated like a criminal. This policy is a slippery slope that will not only cause restriction to be so severe that it will prohibit child from being children but will also make the risk of unreasonable prosecution that it will be impossible to recruit future educators. I fully support ensuring a safe environment for our children but this is not the case. This is a caseof administration more concern of trying to cover their own back than protecting the children involved in this incident. A child being expelled and arrested for showing his friends a pocketknife he forgot to take out of his bag is absurd and he is the true victim here. The administration should be ashamed.

    • Ron Zielinski SUNNYVALE, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Let's use the best judgment of those already paid to use it.

    • Heather Bristol SCOTTS VALLEY, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      How do we have money to enforce the idiotic implementation of poorly thought out rules, yet have no money for actually educating kids? We have money to treat kids like criminals, but no money to teach them?

    • Lenay Padgett SUNNYVALE, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Children are not criminals and deserve responsible, common sense behavior from the adults around them. Zero Tolerance does not provide fair treatment to children/students. This needs to change immediately!

    • Patricia Speece SAN JOSE, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Sounds like an excuse for brainless behavior, but with a veneer of being right. Inexcusable and dangerous behavior on the part of our authority figures.


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