- Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed -

CCS#2/HCS/SB 944 - This act specifies that prohibitions on student possession of weapons under Section 160.261, RSMo, (requires one year suspension) and possession of weapons or controlled substances under Section 167.117, RSMo, (requires reporting to law enforcement), as well as the prohibition on student possession of controlled substances, shall apply to the school playground or parking lot, school bus, or school activity whether on or off the school property. The act also requires that the information annually reported by school districts shall include the rates and durations of and reasons for suspensions of ten days or longer and expulsions of pupils.

On or before July 1, 2001, the State Board of Education shall add to school facilities and safety criteria requirements that each school district's safety coordinator have a thorough knowledge of all school violence programs and resources, and that each school district fully utilize necessary and cost-effective programs and resources. The act also allows a school district to transfer an amount equal to the capital expenditures for school safety and security purposes from the incidental fund to the capital projects fund.

The act establishes a pilot program for public middle school students using military training and motivation methods, established jointly by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Social Services and the National Guard. Students in the seventh or eighth grades may apply to attend the four week residential program. This provision is also found in SB 948.

The domicile of a minor child shall include the domicile of a parent, military guardian or court-appointed legal guardian, for purposes of proving residency in a district.

School districts may disclose education records to law enforcement and juvenile justice authorities, if the disclosure concerns either law enforcement's or juvenile justice authorities' ability to serve the student prior to adjudication. The entity receiving such information must comply with applicable federal confidentiality restrictions.

Currently, juvenile officers must notify a school district when a petition is filed alleging that an enrolled pupil has committed certain acts. The act extends this duty to any law enforcement authorities, and adds certain acts involving sexual misconduct and sexual assault to the list. The superintendent shall also be notified no later than 5 days after disposition of the case. Upon the transfer of any such pupil to another school district, the superintendent shall forward the notification to the new superintendent. "School" includes any charter, private or parochial school. A superintendent who in good faith reports information regarding the allegations to teachers or other employees shall not be civilly liable.

No school board shall readmit or enroll a pupil suspended for more than 10 days for school violence regardless of whether the act was committed at a public or private school, provided that the act was the cause of the suspension or expulsion in the case of a private school. The act specifies that a conference may be held with the superintendent at the request of a parent or guardian if a student attempting to enroll in a school district during a suspension or expulsion from another school district, including an in-state or out-of-state, private, charter or parochial school district.

The act requires a minimum annual transfer of four million dollars of sales tax revenues to the Video Instructional Development and Educational Opportunity Fund. This provision is similar to HB 1713.

The act allows the juvenile divisions of the circuit courts and the Departments of Social Services, Mental Health, Health and Elementary and Secondary Education to share certain information regarding individual children for whom they provide services, subject to confidentiality requirements.

A petition for the limited appointment of a guardian of a minor may be filed for the sole purpose of school registration or medical insurance coverage. The court may proceed with the appointment without obtaining service on the parents of the minor, if the petitioner files an affidavit that the whereabouts of the parents remains unknown despite petitioner's diligent efforts to locate them.

The act creates the crime of trespass on a school bus, a Class A misdemeanor. This provision is similar to SB 590 and HB 2023. The act also creates the crime of making a terrorist threat, for communicating a threat to commit a felony, a false report of a felony, or false report concerning any catastrophe, if the reports were made knowingly. The crime is a Class D felony if made with reckless disregard of the risk of causing the evacuation of building; otherwise, it is Class C felony.

The act also revises the crime of unlawful use of a weapon to include carrying a firearm onto school property, any school bus or the premises of any school function, with certain exceptions. The act does not prohibit students from participation in school-sanctioned firearm-related events, provided that an adult lawfully transports the weapon onto the school property.

The act authorizes the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to provide a four year competitive grant program to defray the cost of student suicide prevention programs.