Student discipline bill advanced by Louisiana House committee

Published: May 3, 2022

By: Piper Hutchinson

FILE – Classroom at Montgomery High School(Source: KALB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (LSU Manship School News Service) – The House Committee on Education advanced a bill Tuesday, May 3 that would require behavioral assessments before students could be expelled, placed in an alternative school or suspended.

House Bill 222, sponsored by Rep. C. Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge, would require that a student be administered an assessment chosen by the Louisiana Department of Health before being removed from a school.

The bill also would prevent schools from suspending students for dress code violations and allow schools to use discretion when punishing students in elementary and middle school for possession of a gun or a knife over 2 ½ inches.

Present law requires an automatic suspension for any student to be found in possession of a knife or gun.

The proposal would only allow students in grades K-8 to be suspended if they acted “in a way that is intended to cause significant bodily harm or emotional distress to another person.”

The bill was advanced on a 5-4 vote, with two Republicans, Rep. Barbara Freiberg of Baton Rouge and Rep. Vincent St. Blanc of Franklin, voting in favor of the bill.

Read more at KALB

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