Legislation to give classroom teachers and administrators the means to address safety issues in Mississippi schools has been sent to the governor.
The Senate wrapped up work on the bill March 15, sending it to Gov. Ronnie Musgrove after agreeing to some House changes.
“The bill allows teachers to work in concert with the school administration in dealing with problems in the classrooms,” said Department of Education spokesman Steve Williams. Williams said the bill also gives the state department more tools to assist local school districts develop safety plans.
As sent to the governor, students 13 or older who disrupt public school classes three times could be expelled from school.
Sen. Bennie Turner, D-West Point, said the only other major change made by the House requires a psychological evaluation for a student younger than 13 after a second act of disruptive behavior.
The bill also provides that school officials and parents, after the second offense, would develop a “behavioral modification plan” for the student to follow. A student who didn’t comply with the plan would be subject to expulsion from school.
The legislation also requires school districts to develop safety programs, which could include video camera surveillance.
The state Department of Education would oversee the establishment of crisis management teams of personnel trained to handle traumatic and violent situations that may occur at schools.
Musgrove has proposed having each school assemble a box with blueprints, pictures of students, and other material that might be needed to help in case of an emergency. One box would be kept at the school and a duplicate would be kept at a local police or sheriff’s office. California has implemented a similar measure.