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Kentucky signs student discipline bill into law to curb classroom disruptions

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Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, has signed a student discipline bill into law. According to the governor, the bill is aimed at curbing classroom disruptions.

The bill, which was signed into law on Thursday March 23, 2023, would allow school administrators to intervene before situations escalate, Beshear.

The Democratic governor told reporters that the bill seeks to ensure that students posing “a significant and serious potential for harm to a school aren’t immediately back in that school.”

“In the end, I think it’s one bill that really comes down to school safety, at a time when we’ve seen some really scary incidents across the country,” Beshear said.

“This is one that I believe, if carried out appropriately, can hopefully intervene before some of those things happen,” he added.

The bill focuses on how school administrators can respond to classroom disruptions.

Under the bill, a student removed from the same classroom three times within 30 days may be suspended from school for being “chronically disruptive.”

Principals could require a review of classroom issues with the teacher and the student’s parents to determine a “course of action” regarding the youngster’s continued placement in the classroom.

The bill would allow principals to permanently remove a student from a classroom for the remainder of the school year if their presence would “chronically disrupt the education process for other students.” Such students could be assigned to another classroom or an alternative programme.

Another provision would result in a student’s expulsion for at least 12 months if school district officials determine, based on clear and convincing evidence, that the student made threats posing a danger to students, faculty or staff. Students could be placed in an alternative program, instead of being expelled.

The bill won overwhelming support in the state’s Republican-dominated legislature. During the House debate, Republican Rep. Timmy Truett said the disciplinary steps aren’t intended to increase student suspensions or expulsions. But action is needed because teachers, staff and students deserve a learning environment free from disruptive behavior, said Truett, the bill’s lead sponsor.

“This bill will make public education better,” Truett said during the debate.

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