May 2, 2012

(Denver) – A bipartisan bill to reform school discipline measures and promote smart solutions to keep more kids in school passed the House Education Committee unanimously today.

SB12-046, sponsored by Reps. Claire Levy (D-Boulder) and B.J. Nikkel (R-Loveland), addresses zero-tolerance policies in Colorado public schools and unintended consequences of those policies. The bill gives schools discretion over zero-tolerance policies, eliminates mandatory expulsion, streamlines reporting and enhances the training program for school resource officers. The goal is to help keep kids in school and prevent unnecessary referrals of students to law enforcement while keeping school safety a number one priority.

Rep. Levy said this bill is the result of bringing together all stakeholders and finding common ground on legislation that prioritizes safety along with students’ achievement.

“When we keep kids in school, we help prevent them from getting involved in the criminal justice system,” Rep. Levy said. “This legislation was truly a community-wide collaboration that brought everyone together to reform and improve zero-tolerance policies that have been deemed inadequate.”

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