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SB 107 would create a campus behavior coordinator who is responsible for maintaining student discipline and contacting a child’s guardian about discipline methods used with the child. The campus behavior coordinator may be a principal or any other campus administrator. Before ordering suspension, expulsion, or any similar order the coordinator would be required to consider whether the child’s inappropriate behavior was influenced by the need to defend themselves, the child has a disability that would influence their capacity to understand their actions were inappropriate, and a variety of other factors.
This bill further defines the list of weapons that would result in mandatory expulsion if a student brought one to school or to a school related event on or off campus.
SB 107 would encourage schools to evaluate a child’s behavior more thoroughly before moving toward expulsion which may temporarily or permanently derail the student's education. The primary way the bill would accomplish this is by giving school officials discretionary authority to consider the most appropriate way to handle a behavioral issue that under existing law would result in mandatory expulsion.
This bill would move school discipline in the right direction by allowing each case to be handled as an individual case and authorizing officials to consider the specific and unique circumstances of each case. For too long well-intentioned Zero Tolerance policies have had the unintended consequence of derailing the education of students whose behavior clearly did not merit expulsion.
SB 107 would preserve the individual liberty of students to obtain an education by encouraging education administration to not consider lightly the removal of a child from their educational environment. This would also preserve limited government by eliminating strict liability standards that make no sense in the classroom. We encourage the adoption of SB 107.