Legislative Task Force to Study School Discipline. The bill amends the statutory grounds for suspension or expulsion of a student to increase the discretion of school administrators and school district boards of education (local boards). The only circumstances under which expulsion remains mandatory are those that involve a student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school or possessed a firearm at school. The bill defines the terms "suspension", "in-school suspension", "out-of-school suspension", and "expulsion".
The bill relocates, with substantive amendments, certain statutory provisions concerning school conduct and discipline codes (codes) and safe school reporting requirements.
Each code shall include criteria distinguishing minor code violations from behavior that will result in the referral of an offending student to a law enforcement agency. Each code shall include a specific policy concerning the prevention of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Each public school of a school district shall require each student enrolled in the public school to be familiar with the provisions of the code.
In creating and enforcing a code, each local board shall:
- Ensure that the code is designed to protect students from harm, provide opportunities for students to learn from their mistakes, foster a positive learning community, keep students in school, and implement a graduated set of age-appropriate responses to misconduct that are fair and proportionate in relation to each student's individual conduct;
- To the extent practicable, limit the use of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions to incidents that involve conduct that poses a serious and credible threat to the safety of pupils and staff; and
- To the extent practicable, use prevention, intervention, restorative justice, peer mediation, counseling, and other approaches to address student misconduct.
In creating a code, each local board shall solicit and consider input from the school district accountability committee of the school district and a local or statewide law enforcement agency.
To the extent practicable, each local board shall assist teachers and other school employees, as may be appropriate, in obtaining training in conflict resolution in and out of the classroom, disciplinary alternatives, and restorative justice for the purpose of preventing violations of the school district's code.
If a student is suspended from school, the suspending authority shall provide an opportunity for the student to make up school work during the period of suspension for full academic credit.
The report of code violations that is required of each school principal as part of the safe school reporting requirements shall specifically identify each violation that resulted in referral to a law enforcement agency.
On and after October 1, 2012, the peace officer standards and training (P.O.S.T.) board shall create and provide a training curriculum to prepare peace officers to serve as school resource officers. In creating the training curriculum, the P.O.S.T. board shall solicit and, to the extent -2- SB12-04