Published: May 3, 2022
By: Piper Hutchinson
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