JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri House Democrats outlined some of their legislative priorities when it comes to education during a news conference at the Missouri Capitol Monday. Some of the proposed legislation deals with school discipline.
HB 1275 would prevent the automatic reporting of an incident to police when it involves misdemeanors such as third-degree assault or harassment. The idea is to give school principals more discretion over how to respond. State Rep. Sarah Unsicker (D-Shrewsbury) sponsored the legislation.
Another bill calls for a ban on suspending students in kindergarten through third grade. State Rep. Ian Mackey (D-St. Louis) sponsored HB 2105.
“There’s no reason for kids that young to be suspended from school,” he said.
Mackey said when children are that young their brains have yet to develop in a way to fully understand the consequences for their actions. He said overly harsh punishment is not the most effective way to correct inappropriate behavior.
Mackey said the St. Louis Public Schools have banned suspensions for students in kindergarten through third grade and expects to find bi-partisan support for his proposed legislation.