School suspension legislation moves forward to House floor

School suspension legislation moves forward to House floor
House Education Committee (Source: WAFB)
House Education Committee (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Legislation that deals with punishing school children is moving forward, but some recent changes to it have even some supporters complaining.

The bill originally called for banning, in most cases, out of school suspensions and expulsions for children between kindergarten and third grade.

The bill from Senator Sharon Weston Broome has been expanded to grades pre-K through fifth grade and only calls for banning suspensions and expulsions only related to breaking the dress code.

Senator Broome made the changes after getting criticism from public school groups.

According to a lawyer who testified in the committee, of the thousands of Louisiana children given out of school suspensions last year, just ten were because of a uniform violation.

"I'm disappointed that you have to water your bill down," said Rep. Par Smith, D-Baton Rouge. "If you're in kindergarten to third grade those are your foundation years. If you are out of school, you are not being schooled."

"Even though it is not my heart's ultimate desire or goal, one of the things that it is doing is keeping this issue on the forefront," said Sen. Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge.

The bill passed without objection and heads to the House floor. That is it's last stop before the governor's desk.

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