The state bill that would knock out zero tolerance requirements in schools statewide may also impact incidents at school bus stops.
As you guys may recall, Superior Court Judge Carl Fox ruled in March that the Wake County school system did not have jurisdiction to issue a long-term suspension to a Millbrook High student who punched a student at a bus stop in September 2009. He didn't consider the bus stop to be a school-sponsored or school-related activity subject to suspension.
But Ann Majestic, Wake's school board attorney, said S-648 in her view would now cover bus stops.
The bill eliminates the section in state statute that Fox had cited in his ruling dealing with suspensions for assaults. instead, suspensions for assaults would fall under the same general rules for other kind of punishments allowed for off-campus behavior.
The bill says that "board policies may authorize suspension for conduct not occurring on educational property, but only if the student's conduct otherwise violates the Code of Student Conduct and the conduct has or is reasonably expected to have a direct and immediate impact on the orderly and efficient operation of the schools or the safety of individuals in the school environment."
The bill was unanimously passed by the state Senate. It's now in the state House Education Committee.
In addition, Majestic said the school system is appealing Fox's ruling.