Teacher Empowering Bill Fails After Lawmakers Fail to Meet Deadline

(FeaturedHeadlines.com) – The West Virginia state legislature failed to finalize a bill that would have empowered teachers to remove students with severe behavior problems from the classroom. Although the legislation received support from both the state Senate and House, lawmakers missed a deadline to make the policy official.

The bill established a framework for teachers to remove unruly kindergarten and elementary school students if their behavior is violent, intimidating, or threatening to other students or staff, creates an unsafe classroom, or otherwise inhibits their peers from learning.

Under current policies, school principals are responsible for doling out discipline. The legislation would have allowed teachers to send disruptive students to a behavioral intervention program, send them home, or contact law enforcement.

The West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates passed differing versions of the legislation but failed to reconcile them before a March 10 deadline. The bill found support in both legislative chambers, but also faced some pushback.

The legislation would disproportionately impact children with disabilities, foster children, and children from minority backgrounds, according to Democratic lawmaker Sean Hornbuckle. Behavioral issues in the classroom are rooted in broader societal problems, Democrat Mike Pushkin also said, adding that the bill only addresses symptoms of the issues and not their cause.

West Virginia lawmakers are not only attempting to make classrooms safer by empowering teachers to remove students, but also by enabling them to protect students. In February, the state House passed a bill that would permit teachers and staff to carry concealed firearms.

The legislation would allow schools to designate teachers and other staff who volunteer as school protection officers, enabling them to carry concealed weapons after completing training and obtaining a standard concealed carry permit.

Although lawmakers failed to finalize the first bill before the deadline, it is clear that they are serious about exploring multiple options to improve school safety in the state, which could ultimately serve as a model for the rest of the country.

Copyright 2024, FeaturedHeadlines.com