SB 0882 School Safety and Discipline
LR Number:L3332.01I Fiscal Note:3332-01
Last Action:02/13/96 - Hearing Conducted S Education Committee
Effective Date:August 28, 1996
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Current Bill Summary

SB 882 - This act makes numerous changes pertaining to school discipline and school safety.

SCHOOL DISCIPLINE POLICY - School discipline policies shall include the district's determination on the use of corporal punishment and procedures for corporal punishment. Parents may determine that corporal punishment is not in the best interest of their child and may select other discipline alternatives. Each employee shall receive annual instruction on the aspects of the discipline policy relevant to the employee's job.

The act defines "acts of school violence". Acts of school violence shall be reported by school administrators to teachers and other employees with a need to know of such acts. School administrators shall report, to law enforcement agencies, felony acts and acts which would constitute felonies if committed by an adult, on school property. Any portion of a disabled student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) which indicates violent behavior shall be provided to school employees responsible for the student's education.

The policy shall provide, with exceptions, for a one-year suspension or expulsion for any student determined to have brought a weapon to school in violation of the policy. The policy shall define those acts of violence which constitute a serious violation of the discipline policy. Schools shall compile, for each student, a record of all serious violations of the policy.

A school district may place certain students with disabilities, who are likely to cause injury to themselves or others, in a more appropriate placement, consistent with federal law. A school board is authorized to immediately remove a pupil upon a finding by a principal, superintendent, or the board itself that such pupil poses a threat of harm to himself or others, based upon the child's prior conduct.

CHILD REGISTERING AT NEW SCHOOL: Defines the term "homeless child" as a child less than twenty-one years of age who does not have a regular residence.

A parent or guardian must present one of the following to register a student: 1) proof of residency in the district; or 2) proof that the parent or guardian has requested a waiver from the residency requirement. A waiver will be granted on the basis of hardship or good cause. If the request for a waiver is rejected by the district board, the applicant may appeal the decision to the circuit court. A parent or guardian filing false information is subject to both civil and criminal penalties. Certain children, including homeless children, children participating in a desegregation program, and wards of the state, shall be exempt from the residency or waiver requirement.

The school at which the student registers shall request all academic and disciplinary records from schools the student previously attended within the last twelve months. A school receiving such a request shall send such information within 7 days.

STATEWIDE SUSPENSIONS No school board is permitted to readmit or enroll a student who has been suspended or expelled without first holding a conference to review the student's conduct. If a student is attempting to enroll in a school district after a suspension or expulsion from another school district and a determination is made that the student's conduct would have resulted in a suspension or expulsion in the enrolling district, the enrolling school district must uphold and put into effect the suspension or expulsion. Upon a determination that the student would not have been suspended, the enrolling district must admit the student.

Any student for whom a petition is filed alleging the commission of: (1) first degree murder, (2) second degree murder, (3) kidnapping, (4) first degree assault, (5) forcible rape, (6) forcible sodomy, (7) robbery in the 1st degree, (8) distribution of drugs, (9) arson in the 1st degree, or (10) possession of a weapon, plus weapons possession or drug distribution, shall not be permitted to enroll in any school district in the state.

IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSIONS School districts must place students in in-school suspension, with exceptions for: (1) dangerous students, (2) insufficient school resources or (3) placement in alternative education programs.

INFORMATION REPORTING REQUIREMENTS: The reporting requirements for juvenile officers and school officials are as follows: (1) The juvenile officer must notify the superintendent of the school district when a petition is filed alleging that the juvenile has committed an act which would be considered a felony if committed by an adult. The notice must be made orally and in writing prior to the return of the student to school or within five days, whichever is shorter. The notice must include a complete description of the alleged conduct, the dates the conduct occurred, and cannot include the name of any victim; (2) If any person allegedly commits an assault in the first, second or third degree, sexual assault, or deviate sexual assault against a pupil or school employee, the principal must immediately report the incident to the police and the school superintendent; (3) When a pupil possesses controlled substances or weapons, the principal must immediately report the incident to the police and the superintendent; and (4) When a teacher is aware of an assault, or of a student in possession of a weapon or unlawful drugs, the teacher must immediately report the incident to the principal.

The act's reporting requirements do not apply to offenses committed by kindergarten to third grade students. Also, school employees or officials who report these incidents are not held civilly liable. A school official who willfully fails to comply with reporting requirements is subject to a class A misdemeanor.

ASSAULT OF SCHOOL PERSONNEL The act creates the crime of assaulting school personnel. A person commits the crime of assaulting school personnel if the person attempts to cause or knowingly causes physical injury by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument to a school district employee who is performing duties for the school district at the time of the injury.

Assaulting school personnel is a class C felony.

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is directed to award grants to school districts and area vocational schools for alternative education programs for pupils who cannot be adequately served in the traditional classroom setting. Districts are encouraged to submit joint applications.

SCHOOL VIOLENCE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will implement programs of educational instruction regarding violence prevention and an instructional program that communicates the negative consequences of criminal gang activity to students. Beginning in the 1998-99 school year, all public school districts may administer the program at all grade levels.

RESPONSIBILITY TO EDUCATE SUSPENDED AND EXPELLED PUPILS Suspension or expulsion of a pupil pursuant to this act shall not relieve the state, a school district or a parent of responsibility for education of the pupil. School districts shall exhaust all other disciplinary options prior to suspending a pupil and shall ensure that suspended pupils continue educational activities which advance the pupil toward graduation.

This act contains penalty provisions.

SB 615, HB 1298 and HB 1301 contain many similar provisions.