Missouri students may face felony charges for fights

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A new law, taking effect in a few days, could mean harsher punishments for kids who get into fights at school. If your child gets into a fight at a Missouri school they could be charged with a felony.

It was standing room only Thursday night as the Organization Metropolitan Congregations United invited school districts, parents and students to learn about the news law that will take effect in Missouri starting January 1st.

Missouri's revision to the criminal code will not change the potential imprisonment effect on kids regarding assault charges. Students could already be charged with a misdemeanor or felony assault depending on the circumstances.

Starting next week 3rd and 4th degree assaults will be reclassified from misdemeanors to felonies. Under the measure, students who are caught fighting on school grounds or on a bus, and it is witnessed by a school resource officer or police; could be charged with a felony.

Some parents say the law may have unintended consequences.

"I am very concerned about how it would impact students and how it would impact the future of my son; how will they interpret the language of law," said Jaqui Melton.

Students could face jail time if convicted. A class E felony carries a jail time of up to four years.