We've got even more proposed changes to Wake County's student discipline policies.
At today's school board work session, school board attorney Ann Majestic said a further review of the proposed overhaul resulted in some additional suggested changes. For instance:
• Elementary school students won’t be subject to a long-term suspension of more than 10 days unless the punishment is mandated by state law or in cases involving serious injury or serious threat to safety and welfare of the school.
• Spelling out that Level I offenses should generally result in alternatives to short-term suspensions.
* Differentiating how misconduct on a school bus would be treated. The more serious offenses would remain in Level II while lesser offenses such as getting off on at unauthorized stop or delaying the bus would be in Level I. Previously, they were all in Level II in the overhaul.
• Changing the punishment for making a bomb threat to a long-term suspension with the chance of being reduced to a short-term suspension instead of being required to be a long-term suspension. This is a reflection of how new state legislation would eliminate bomb threats as an automatic long-term suspension.
* Changing the wording to make it more clear that students who distribute drugs should face stiffer consequences than those who just possess it.
Majestic described how Student A could bring in a drug with the intent to distribute it could give it to Student B who tried it and then passed it on to Student C. She said today's suggested change would make clear that Student A should be treated harsher as the distributor than Student B, who didn't possess it with intent o to distribute.
Some other changes also mirror the new state law, such as saying tardies and truancies are limited to suspensions of up to two days.
One change that was not added, despite the request of some advocacy groups, is requiring wording that principals must consider mitigating factors in their decisions. The new policy only says that principals may consider them.
Majestic said including wording that principals must consider mitigating circumstance could turn the discipline hearings into a "sideshow." She said that, instead of discussing whether the student committed the offense, that the attorney for the student could turn it into focusing whether the principal considered mitigating factors
Click here for the handout of the policy changes.