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Senators debate school discipline bill

(KNOP)
Published: Jan. 13, 2020 at 4:44 PM CST
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Teachers in Nebraska may soon have the right to physically discipline students they feel are acting out in a threatening way.

The bill, LB147, would allow teachers to physically remove a student from the classroom if they are believed to have become a safety threat.

The bill was up for debate in the Nebraska Legislature Monday morning.

Senator Mike Groene of North Platte introduced the bill two years ago.

Some teachers say they need clarity on what they can do; advocates worry about effects on minority/disabled students.

Although Groene's plan was backed by the Nebraska State Education Association, it met resistance from several senators who had experience as teachers or administrators.

"Do you want to protect children? Senator Vargas says what about protecting the children, they aren't protected now," said Senator Groene. "Johnny decides to punch Suzie, that teacher stands there. This bill protects that child, protects the child who is doing the damage, who has lost their temper from doing more damage and haunts them the rest of their life because they hurt Suzie."

"What's ironic Senator Arch is, we are offering more services to the kid who is removed from class than we are for the kid who is expelled," said Senator Justin Wayne of Omaha. "Think about that? The kid who is suspended probably needs more resources as support than the kid who is pulled out of class for a day."

No action was taken on the bill.

However, Senator Groene will still have to prove to the Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer he has enough votes to keep the bill in motion.

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