STATE OF MAINE
118TH LEGISLATURE
SECOND REGULAR AND SPECIAL SESSIONS






Final Report
of the

COMMISSION TO STUDY
PROVIDING EDUCATORS WITH MORE AUTHORITY
TO REMOVE VIOLENT STUDENTS
FROM EDUCATIONAL SETTINGS

January 1999






Members:
Sen. Mary Cathcart, Chair
Rep. James Skoglund, Chair
Richard Abramson
J. Duke Albanese
Robyn Boustead
Vanessa Nutter Bruce
Dennis Doiron
Christina Dunphy
Rick Hayward
Elizabeth Johanson
James H. Morse
Phyllis M. Shubert
Russell F. Stryker
Ann Therrien
Peter Walsh


Staff:
Phillip D. McCarthy, Ed.D., Legislative Analyst
David C. Webb, Esq., Legislative Analyst
Office of Policy & Legal Analysis
13 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
(207) 287-1670


Table of Contents


Executive Summary

I. Introduction

II. Background

III. Summary of Key Findings and Recommendations


Appendices

A Resolve 1997, Chapter 119
B List of Commission Members
C Meeting Summaries: Potential Findings and Recommendations
D Civil Rights Cases in Maine
E Additional Information on Other States’ School Safety Programs
F Minority Report Recommendations


Executive Summary

The Commission to Study Providing Educators with More Authority to Remove Violent Students from Educational Settings was established in the Second Special Session of the 118th Legislature by Resolve 1997, chapter 119. The Commission’s 17 members included individuals representing the Legislature, executive branch agencies, teachers, superintendents, school boards, principals, parents and students.

The Commission was charged with studying the establishment and the effectiveness of district-wide school disciplinary policies and practices in the State and developing a plan to address the growing concern of violence in the public schools. In examining these issues, the Commission was authorized to conduct public hearings to receive testimony on the incidence of disruptive student conduct and violent behavior in the public schools throughout the State. The Commission was specifically charged with reviewing:

1. The collection and analysis of available data related to the incidence of disruptive student conduct and violent behavior in the public schools throughout the State;

2. Effective district-wide school disciplinary policies, procedures and practices that seek to prevent or respond to disruptive or violent student conduct in the public schools;

3. The establishment of suggested student conduct and responsibility standards; and

4. The establishment of a system for notifying school personnel regarding a student with a history of violent behavior.

The Commission was convened on October 5, 1998, met six times, received information from several panels of expert and heard public testimony at three public hearings. The Commission came to two major conclusions regarding the incidence of disruptive and violent student behavior in Maine public schools: first, that teachers, school personnel, school officials and students themselves are faced with a wide range of disruptive and violent student conduct, including gross misconduct and threatening behavior that is serious in nature; and second, that some Maine school officials and communities currently use a variety of effective prevention and intervention strategies and practices to address disruptive and violent student behavior.

The Commission presents the following 11-point plan, including key findings and recommendations, for the immediate consideration of the Legislature:

1. State-wide student conduct and responsibility standards

The Department of Education, in consultation with representatives of appropriate education stakeholder groups, should develop statewide standards for responsible and ethical student behavior and report these standards to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by April 1, 1999.

2. Local district-wide codes of conduct for all students

Beginning in September 2000, every school administrative unit in the State should implement district-wide student conduct codes for all students with clearly defined consequences at the building level for unacceptable behavior, including physical violence and verbal harassment. Local school officials should retain authority to determine how their school curriculum and student conduct codes will comply with statewide student conduct standards.

3. Mandatory crisis response plan for every school in the State

All school administrative units in the State should be required to develop and adopt a crisis response plan for violent acts or potential crisis situations for each school building in the unit. School officials are encouraged to consult with public safety and law enforcement officials, as well as human services and mental health professionals, in developing their crisis response plans.

4. Anti-hazing and anti-harassment statutes to protect educational personnel

The Legislature should amend the existing “anti-hazing” statute to include protections for educational personnel as well as students. In addition, the statutory definition of “injurious hazing” should be amended to include “injurious harassment.” Including injurious harassment in this definition will clarify and emphasize other prohibited behaviors, including intimidating or “bullying” behavior that may not fall within protections established under the Maine Civil Rights Act.

5. Providing teachers with greater input in the removal of disruptive and violent students from the classroom and disciplinary and placement decisions

School boards should be encouraged to develop policies that allow for greater input by teachers and other educational personnel concerning disciplinary and placement decisions and the removal of violent or disruptive students from the classroom. School unit officials should empower teachers to send disorderly, violent or abusive student from a classroom to the principal’s office, and similarly empower a school bus driver to recommend the revocation of the privilege of riding on a school bus, for any student who: (a) engages in disorderly conduct; (2) threatens, abuses, intimidates or attempts to intimidate a school employee or student; or (3) uses profane or abusive language toward a school employee or student.

6. Providing timely reporting of student records between schools

Educational records must follow students who apply to transfer to a school in another school administrative unit in the State; students who transfer from out of state schools should also be subject to this new requirement.


7. Establishing a task force to study the implementation of alternative programs and interventions for violent and chronically disruptive students.

A separate task force should be established to study alternative educational settings for disruptive and violent students, including the implementation of positive behavioral supports in classrooms, alternative community placements and the incorporation of local and regional resources and additional funding as required. The Commission further recommends that this task force report its findings and conclusions to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by December 1, 1999. A minority report was filed regarding this recommendation (see Appendix F).

8. Providing certain juvenile crime/conviction information to school officials

The local district attorney should provide to the superintendent of an alleged juvenile offender’s school, and to the superintendent’s designees, the name of the youth and other information about the alleged charges in the following circumstances: (a) if a petition has been filed against a juvenile for an alleged offense which alleges the use or threatened use of physical force against a person, or (b) if a juvenile has been adjudicated as committing an offense described above. Any information received under these new provisions should not become part of the student’s education record and should remain confidential, except as otherwise provided by law. A minority report was filed regarding this recommendation (see Appendix F).

9. Providing information to law enforcement officials

A school superintendent should provide to local police or other appropriate law enforcement authorities, information regarding violent offenses committed by any person on school grounds. This information should be provided as soon as practicable.

10. Providing immunity protections for school personnel

School personnel who report safety concerns to school officials with regard to violent or disruptive students should be protected from employment discrimination or retaliation for reporting the safety concerns.

11. Support for violence prevention and intervention programs for teachers, staff and students

Additional funding and resources should be provided for the following violence prevention and intervention programs: (a) conflict resolution education for grades K-12, including training and development for educators and peer mediation programs for students; (b) the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Team Project; and (c) programs that can help teachers and other school personnel identify and respond appropriately to violent and disruptive student behavior. Additional funds should be targeted towards extending the benefits of these prevention and intervention programs to other school administrative units across the state.



I. INTRODUCTION AND COMMISSION PROCESS

During the 118th Legislature, Representative Green sponsored L.D. 2142, “An Act to Provide Educators With More Authority to Remove Violent Students from Educational Settings.” The bill was referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs (Education Committee). L.D. 2142 proposed to require school boards to develop and adopt a district-wide school disciplinary policy that addresses rules of conduct for students, consequences for violations of the rules of conduct and the grounds and procedures for the removal of a disruptive or violent student from a class or activity period. The bill also proposed to provide for an ombudsman service to provide advocacy for the enforcement of the disciplinary policy and to mediate disputes regarding the disciplinary policy. The bill further proposed that school board members and other involved parties should conduct an annual review of the school administrative units disciplinary policies.

During work sessions to review the initiatives proposed in L.D. 2142, Members of the Education Committee sought to comprehend the nature and scope of the problem situation confronting classroom teachers, other educational staff and school officials in Maine’s public schools. Education Committee Members were concerned that sufficient data regarding the incidence of disruptive and violent student behavior in Maine schools was unavailable. Legislators also recognized the need to gather information describing existing policies and practices established by state policymakers and local school officials to address disruption and violence in the public schools.

In reporting out L.D. 2142, the Education Committee recommended the establishment of the Commission to Study Providing Educators with More Authority to Remove Violent Students from Educational Settings (“Commission”). By enacting this legislation, the 118th Legislature directed the Commission to review district-wide school disciplinary policies, procedures and practices that address disruptive student conduct and violent behavior in the public schools in the State. The Commission was also charged with studying the establishment and the effectiveness of district-wide school disciplinary policies and practices throughout the State. The majority report further directed the Commission to develop a plan addressing the growing concern of violence in the public schools and to submit its report with any accompanying legislation to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs of the 118th Legislature by
October 30, 1998.

Commission Established

The Commission was established in the Second Special Session of the 118th Legislature by Resolve 1997, chapter 119. A copy of the Resolve is attached as Appendix A. The Commission consisted of seventeen members: two Legislators who were members of the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs jointly chaired the Commission; the Commissioner of Education or designee; the Commissioner of Corrections or designee; the Commissioner of Human Services or designee; the Commissioner of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services or designee; the Attorney General or designee; two members representing parents; one member who is a student representing a peer mediation group; two members representing public school teachers; one member representing educational technicians; one member representing school bus drivers; one member representing superintendents; one member representing school principals and one member representing school boards. A list of Commission members is included in Appendix B.

Charge to the Commission

The Commission was charged with developing a plan to address the growing concern of disruption and violence in the public schools. In examining the issues relating to school disruption and violence, the Commission was authorized to conduct public hearings to receive testimony on the incidence of disruptive student conduct and violent behavior in the public schools throughout the State. The Commission was specifically charged with reviewing the following:

1. The collection and analysis of available data related to the incidence of disruptive student conduct and violent behavior in the public schools throughout the State;

2. Effective district-wide school disciplinary policies, procedures and practices that seek to prevent or respond to disruptive or violent student conduct in the public schools;

3. The establishment of suggested student conduct and responsibility standards; and

4. The establishment of a system for notifying staff regarding a student with a history of violent behavior.


Scope and Focus of Commission Meetings

The Commission held six meetings. These meetings occurred on October 5 and October 19, 1998; November 12, 1998; December 3, 1998; December 10, 1998; and December 16, 1998.

The first three Commission meetings focused on the incidence of disruptive and violent student behavior in public schools, the legal aspects of school discipline and student conduct policies, and effective prevention, intervention and crisis response programs. Each of these meetings included a panel discussion and also provided an opportunity for public testimony during a public hearing. Invited panelists included representatives from the Maine Education Association, the Department of Education, the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Maine, attorneys representing school boards, school officials and educational staff; school administrators, school counselors, school psychologists, local law enforcement personnel, community advocates and peer mediation groups. The Commission heard testimony from teachers, education technicians, bus drivers, superintendents, school board members, principals, special education directors, alternative school officials, school attorneys, parents and from members of the public. At its final three meetings, Commissioners reviewed the information presented and formulated findings and recommendations.

The enabling legislation established October 30, 1998, as the reporting date of the Commission to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs of the 118th Legislature. Due to the abbreviated time period in which the Commission had to complete its work after the October 5, 1998 convening date, the Commission petitioned the Legislative Council for an extension of the report deadline in legislation presented to the 119th Legislature in January 1999.


II. BACKGROUND

In establishing this Commission, the Education Committee sought to focus the study on collecting available data that may define the problem situation and gathering information that would inform the Legislature about existing efforts that seek to prevent or respond to disruptive and violent student behavior.

Discussion of the Problem Situation: Disruptive and Violent Student Behavior

The following sections describe the data collected and the information received by Commissioners related to the four charges presented to the Commission in the authorizing legislation: (1) data collection and analysis, (2) effective policies and practices, (3) state standards for student conduct and (4) notification system/right-to-know issues. A summary of findings are presented in Appendix C.

Data Collection and Analysis

The data collection and analysis activities of the Commission included a review of research articles, survey and case study data, federal and state government reports, professional association publications and media accounts related to the incidence of disruptive and violent student behavior in school aged youth and in Maine schools. The Commission also analyzed oral and written information provided by experts and practitioners in professional fields directly involved with school safety and youth violence, as well as public testimony presented by individuals and representatives of interested parties at the three public hearings.

The Commission found that available data describing the incidence and severity of disruptive and violent student behavior in Maine’s public schools is limited. Beyond the biennial “Youth Risk Behavior Survey” of secondary and middle school students established through the Department of Education in 1995, Maine still lacks a systematic data collection and reporting system to accurately identify the incidence of disruptive and violent student behavior in our public schools. Despite this limitation, the Commission cites findings and observations from the following survey research, case studies and anecdotal reports to provide some perspective on the incidence of disruptive and violent student behavior in Maine public schools:

Survey Research & Qualitative Study Data.


Anecdotal Reports and Observations.


Barriers to Systematic Data Collection and Reporting.

Commissioners received information indicating that barriers exist which prevent the implementation of a systematic data collection and reporting system. Researchers reported that: (a) school officials may not always be willing to air their “dirty laundry” related to school violence in public; and (b) it is difficult to expect that those school officials who report such data can uniformly document and report those disruptive acts or criminal behavior that aren't clearly-defined. Teachers also indicated that school administrators cited confidentiality provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as a means to prevent teachers from sharing information that may enhance school safety.

Several suggestions were proposed to improve data collection efforts, including the following:

Effective Policies and Practices

Even as the Commission was conducting its review of school violence prevention and intervention strategies, a number of parallel initiatives were established by public and private sector entities: the Commissioner of Education convened an inter-agency youth violence working group; the University of Maine College of Education and the Bangor Daily News coordinated a collaborative Safe Schools Task Force; the EXCEL Program coalition involving the University of Maine Law School, University of Southern Maine College of Education, the Maine State Bar Association and the Maine Bar Foundation provided training and technical assistance for peer mediation programs; two separate Education Summits on Prejudice Harassment and Hate Violence in Maine Schools were sponsored by the Maine Leadership Consortium and the Office of the Attorney General; and other program initiatives and events were undertaken by public safety and law enforcement associations.

The Commission review of effective policies and practices focused on learnings from the field and best practices cited by reports and publications, as well as information provided by experts and practitioners in professional fields directly involved with school safety and youth violence and public testimony presented at the public hearings. The following strategies and principles were summarized from research and practitioner-based experience provided to the Commission:

Early Intervention / Prevention Programs.

To have the greatest impact, public policy should focus prevention and intervention programs on reaching kids before third grade (eight years old); otherwise, the success of intervention efforts appear to produce diminished results.

Comprehensive Safe School Programs -- Staff Training & Development.


Student Conduct Codes with Explicit Consequences.


Expanding Suspension and Expulsion Authority.

In 1975, the United States Supreme Court upheld a student’s property interest in receiving an education (see Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565, 1975). In Goss, the Supreme Court held that due process requires, in connection with a suspension of 10 days or less, that students be given oral or written notice of the charges against them and, if a student denies them, an explanation of the evidence the authorities have and an opportunity to present the student’s side of the story. Students whose presence poses a continuing danger to persons or property, or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process, may be immediately removed from school. In such cases, the necessary notice and rudimentary hearing should follow as soon as practicable.


Alternative Education Programs.

Law Enforcement & Juvenile Justice System Interventions.


Conflict Resolution / Peer Mediation Programs / Civil Rights Team Program.


Engaging Other Professionals / Parents / Local Communities.


State Standards for Student Conduct


Based on testimony from the L.D. 2142 public hearing and further discussions at Committee work sessions related to the Commissioner of Education’s proposal to explore the public policy implications of state standards for student conduct, the Education Committee added this item to the Commission’s charge. Research collected by Commission staff indicated that several states have enacted state standards for student conduct (please see Appendix E). The following comments summarize the suggestions received by the Commission:

Statewide Student Conduct and Responsibility Standards.

Anti-Hazing and Civil Rights Statutes.

During its study, the Commission reviewed the current “anti-hazing” statutes in Title 20-A. Anti-hazing statutes: (a) require school boards to set anti-hazing rules on or off campus and to establish penalties for violations and (b) require school boards to assign authority to superintendents, to set up an appeal process and to distribute policies to students. While Department of Education officials indicated that these provisions represented another example of state expectations for student conduct, Commissioners discussed the following issues regarding the implementation of these provisions:


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 1997 Reauthorization.

Another state policy review item was flagged by Commissioners during the discussion of state standards. Regulations established under the 1997 Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 1997) contain new requirements regarding the data collection activities of states education agencies. New IDEA regulations require the tracking of disciplinary action involving special education students. State officials are expected to develop plans to adapt data collection and reporting procedures to respond to this requirement.

Notification / Right to Know Issues

The Commission heard testimony that access to information on students is frequently chaotic; schools, police and courts frequently do not communicate well and tend to keep their own records in separate “cubbyholes.” Schools that are asked to accept transferred students often have difficulty obtaining discipline information from the student’s former school. In addition, school personnel are often fearful that disclosing student discipline information will lead to student claims that the school violated the students’ “right to privacy/confidentiality” or claims that the school violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).


1. Maine generally prohibits the disclosure of juvenile crime records, including arrest, petition and conviction records (see 15 M.R.S.A. §§3307-3308). Two exceptions to this law with respect to juvenile conviction records specifically apply to school officials in the district where the student attends school:

a) Juvenile records may be disseminated if the juvenile is adjudicated as having committed a juvenile crime; the information is disseminated by and to specified persons and entities, including the superintendent (or designee) of the juvenile’s school; and the information is relevant to and disseminated for creating or maintaining a rehabilitation plan (see 15 M.R.S.A. §3308, B-1).

b) If a juvenile is adjudicated of gross sexual assault, the Department of Corrections must provide a copy of a the judgment and commitment to specified persons and agencies, including the superintendent of any school the juvenile attends during commitment or probation (see 15 M.R.S.A. §3308, D).

The Commission heard testimony concerning the importance of opening the relationship between the local law enforcement agencies and schools, especially with regard to juveniles who pose a risk of violent behavior towards other students or school personnel. The Commission considered, however, the importance of safeguarding the confidentiality of juvenile crime and petition records. While teachers need to be informed about juvenile criminal records and educational records, there were concerns expressed that children would be labeled or “condemned” by the school or the community if criminal/disciplinary information is released.

The Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (IASA) amended FERPA to permit educators, pursuant to a State statute, to disclose information to State and local officials, as long as the disclosure concerns the juvenile justice system. As a result, schools in States that have passed such statutes may now disclose information on students to other local and State agencies. Although a student's education records may be shared with a school's law enforcement unit, the law enforcement unit may not disclose the education records without prior parental or student consent (if the student is 18 years or older) or under a specified exception in FERPA.

III. SUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The Commission came to two major conclusions regarding the incidence of disruptive and violent student behavior in Maine public schools: first, that teachers, school personnel, school officials and students themselves are faced with a wide range of disruptive and violent student conduct, including gross misconduct and threatening behavior that is serious in nature; and second, that some Maine school officials and communities currently use a variety of effective prevention and intervention strategies and practices to address disruptive and violent student behavior. The Commission presents the following 11-point plan, including key findings and recommendations, for the immediate consideration of the Legislature.

1. State-wide student conduct and responsibility standards

Current state law entrusts the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education with certain authority to provide educational leadership for the State and to enforce applicable laws and regulations. However, Maine statutes make no specific declaration of the State’s public policy regarding expectations or standards for student conduct.

Recommendation


The Commission recommends that legislation be enacted which directs the Department of Education, in consultation with representatives of appropriate education stakeholder groups, to develop statewide standards for responsible and ethical student behavior. The following provisions should be included in legislation establishing the development of statewide standards:


The Department of Education should develop and report statewide standards for responsible and ethical student behavior to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by April 1, 1999. Commission staff will draft a letter from the Commission to the Commissioner of Education and send copies to the Chairpersons of the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs.

This recommendation was approved by a general consensus of those Commissioners present.

2. Local district-wide codes of conduct for all students

Under state law, the control and management of the public schools are vested in local school boards. Following a proper investigation and due process proceedings, current statutes authorize school boards to suspend or expel a student: (a) who is found to be deliberately disobedient or disorderly, (b) for infractions of violence, (c) who possesses a firearm or a dangerous weapon on school property without permission of a school official, (d) who, with use of a dangerous weapon, intentionally or knowingly causes injury or accompanies use of a weapon with a threat to cause injury; (e) who possesses, furnishes or traffics in any scheduled drug; or (f) for infractions of “injurious hazing” policy by means of any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of a student enrolled in a public school. Beyond these particular acts of misconduct, state law contains no specific requirement that a school administrative unit must establish a uniform student conduct policy for students attending all schools within the unit.

Recommendation

The Commission recommends that legislation be enacted which requires every school administrative unit in the State to develop district-wide student conduct codes for all students with clearly defined consequences at the building level for unacceptable behavior, including physical violence and verbal harassment. School administrative units should implement district-wide student conduct codes that are consistent with statewide standards for the 2000-01 academic year beginning in September, 2000. School administrative unit officials should retain authority to determine how their school curriculum and district-wide student conduct codes will comply with statewide conduct standards.

Legislation mandating district-wide student conduct codes should require that school administrative units address the following components:


This recommendation should not be construed to prohibit a school administrative unit with an existing student conduct code in place that is consistent with statewide standards from implementing or enforcing such a code.

This recommendation was approved by a general consensus of those Commissioners present.

3. Mandatory crisis response plan for every school in the State

Commissioners were informed of the crisis response planning initiated in several school districts across the State, as well as the recent efforts made by the Maine School Management Association to encourage local school boards to work with local public safety and law enforcement officials to develop crisis response plans. While the current state of preparedness of Maine schools and the capacity of school officials and educational personnel to respond to crisis situations involving violent students is unknown at this time, the Commission strongly endorsed the principle that crisis response measures are an integral component of a comprehensive safe school program.

Recommendation

The Commission recommends that legislation be enacted which requires all school administrative units in the State to develop and adopt a crisis response plan for violent acts or potential crisis situations for each school building in the school administrative unit.


This recommendation was approved by a general consensus of those Commissioners present.

4. Anti-hazing and anti-harassment statutes to protect educational personnel

At present, the Maine “anti-hazing” statute prohibits “injurious hazing” which is defined as “any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of a student enrolled in a public school (see 20-A M.R.S.A. § 6553). The “anti-hazing” statute requires all Maine school boards to adopt a policy which expressly prohibits injurious hazing, either on or off school property, by any student, staff member, group or organization affiliated with the public school.

Recommendation

The Commission recommends that legislation be enacted which revises the existing “anti-hazing” statute to include protections for educational personnel as well as students. The Commission further proposes to expand the statutory definition of “injurious hazing” to include “injurious harassment.” By amending this definition, the statute clarifies and emphasizes prohibited behaviors, including intimidating or “bullying” behavior that often doesn’t fall within the protections under the Maine Civil Rights Act.

This recommendation was approved by a general consensus of those Commissioners present.


5. Providing teachers with greater input in the removal of disruptive and violent students from the classroom and disciplinary and placement decisions

Presently, school boards may expel students for committing violent or other serious acts on school grounds. Prior to the expulsion of any student, Maine law requires that the school board undertake a “proper investigation” followed by “due process proceedings.” In addition, school boards may authorize a principal to suspend students up to a maximum of 10 days for infractions of school rules (see 20-A M.R.S.A. § 1001, sub-§ 9; Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565, (1975) “due process requires, in connection with a suspension of 10 days or less, that the student be given oral or written notice of the charges against him”). Maine law does not formally provide for teacher input or involvement into the suspension or expulsion process of a student.

Recommendation

The Commission recommends that legislation be enacted which includes a philosophical statement encouraging school boards to have policies that allow for greater input by teachers and other educational personnel concerning the removal of violent or disruptive students from the classroom and disciplinary and placement decisions.

The Commission recommends that the Maine Principal’s Association (MPA) develop model policies and procedures which provide for greater input from teacher and other educational personnel in the removal of disruptive and violent students from the classroom. The Commission directs Commission staff to provide written notification to MPA regarding this recommendation.

The Commission further proposes that legislation be enacted which empowers a teacher to send a student from a classroom to the principal’s office, and similarly empowers a school bus driver to recommend the revocation of the privilege of riding on a school bus, for any student who:

¨ Engages in disorderly conduct;
¨ Threatens, abuses, intimidates or attempts to intimidate a school employee or student; or
¨ Uses profane or abusive language toward a school employee or student.

The teacher or bus driver should be required to state in writing the reason for sending the student to the principal’s office. Once the student is removed from the classroom or the student’s privilege to ride the school bus is revoked, the principal may take any necessary disciplinary action. If disciplinary action is taken, the principal should provide written notification of the disciplinary action taken to the parents or guardians of the student and should also provide a copy of the written notification to the teacher or bus driver who reported the student to the principal.

A majority of Commissioners approved this recommendation (vote: 9-2). Those voting in favor included Commissioners: Cathcart, Doiron, Grant, Morse, Nutter Bruce, Scott, Skoglund, Therrien and Walsh. Those voting against this recommendation were Commissioners Shubert and Stryker.

6. Providing timely reporting of student records between schools

The Commission heard testimony that access to information on students is frequently chaotic; schools, police and courts frequently do not communicate well and tend to keep their own records in separate "cubbyholes". Schools that are asked to accept transferred students often have difficulty obtaining discipline information from the students’ former school. In addition, school personnel are often fearful that disclosing student discipline information will lead to student claims that the school violated the student’s “right to privacy/confidentiality” or claims that the school violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

While FERPA is designed to discourage abusive and unwarranted disclosure of a student's education records, FERPA provides that schools may disclose any information on a student, without the parent's prior written consent, to officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll. The Commission acknowledges the importance of ensuring that schools, parents and students understand the parameters of the student record and confidentiality laws. In addition, the Commission recognizes the importance of making sure that any school considering the admission of a student have immediate access to all suspension and expulsion information from any public school in Maine or any other state.



Recommendation

The Commission makes the following recommends to address these problem situations:

School Records to Transfer with the Student.

The Commission recommends enacting legislation to accomplish the following:

Immediate Status Report.

The Commission also recommends enacting legislation which allows the receiving school administrative unit to promptly determine the disciplinary status of a student applying for transfer. Proposed legislation would accomplish the following:


The Commission recommends that in the case of a student who has been expelled or is involved in an expulsion process, the receiving school administrative unit should retain discretion as to:

(a) Admission of a student applying for transfer; or

(b) Student access to public school programs, facilities and activities as part of a home instruction program pursuant to Title 20-A, §5021.

The receiving school administrative unit may deny admission or participation until it is satisfied that the conditions of the expulsion or suspension have been satisfied.


Expulsion Record Information Database.

The Commission further recommends that legislation be enacted requiring school administrative units to report information regarding student expulsions to the Department of Education, and further requiring the department to:

This set of recommendations was approved by a general consensus of those Commissioners present.

7. Establishing a task force to study the implementation of alternative programs and interventions for violent and chronically disruptive students.

The following findings support the Commission’s conclusion that legislation establishing this task force is warranted at this time:


The Commission recognizes the importance of an effective state-wide plan, and the importance of providing sufficient time to develop community-specific plans in conjunction with a state-wide effort.

Recommendation

The Commission recommends that a separate task force be established to study the provision of a continuum of interventions for violent and chronically disruptive students, including alternative educational settings for these students, the implementation of positive behavioral supports in classrooms and alternative community placements. This task force should be charged with establishing the means necessary, including the incorporation of local and regional resources and additional funding as required, to develop a continuum of interventions that may provide a broader range of programs and services for disruptive and violent students.

The Commission further recommends that the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs determine the membership of this task force. The Commission recommends that this task force report its findings and conclusions to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by December 1, 1999.

A majority of Commissioners approved this recommendation (vote: 12-2). Those voting in favor included Commissioners: Cathcart, Despres, Doiron, Dunphy, Johanson, Nutter Bruce, Shubert, Skoglund, Stockford, Stryker, Therrien and Walsh. Those voting against this recommendation were Commissioners Grant and Morse, who have submitted a Minority Report attached as Appendix F).

8. Providing certain juvenile crime/conviction information to school officials

At the present time, Maine generally prohibits the disclosure of juvenile crime records, including arrest, petition and conviction records. see, 15 M.R.S.A. §§3307-3308. Two exceptions to this law with respect to juvenile conviction records specifically apply to school officials in the district where the student attends school:

a) Juvenile records may be disseminated if the juvenile is adjudicated as having committed a juvenile crime; the information is disseminated by and to specified persons and entities, including the superintendent (or designee) of the juvenile’s school; and the information is relevant to and disseminated for creating or maintaining a rehabilitation plan. 15 M.R.S.A. §3308 (B-1).

b) If a juvenile is adjudicated of gross sexual assault, the Department of Corrections must provide a copy of a the judgment and commitment to specified persons and agencies, including the superintendent of any school the juvenile attends during commitment or probation. 15 M.R.S.A. §3308 (D).

The Commission heard testimony concerning the importance of improving the relationship between the local law enforcement agencies and schools, especially with regard to juveniles who pose a risk of violent behavior towards other students or school personnel. The Commission considered, however, the importance of safeguarding the confidentiality of juvenile crime and petition records.

Recommendation


The Commission recommends that legislation be enacted which directs the local district attorney to provide to the superintendent of the juvenile’s school and the superintendent’s designees the name of the youth and other information about the alleged charges in the following circumstances:


The Commission further recommends that any information received under this paragraph should not become part of the student’s education record and that any information received should remain confidential, except as otherwise provided by law.

The Commission specifically recommends legislation as follows:

Add a new paragraph “E” to 15 M.R.S.A. §3308 (7):

(E) If a juvenile is currently charged in a juvenile petition or adjudicated of one or more juvenile crimes that allege the use or threatened use of physical force against a person, the district attorney in the district where the charges were brought shall provide to the superintendent of the juvenile’s school and the superintendent’s designees:

(1) The name of a juvenile;

(2) The nature of the offense;

(3) The date of the offense;

(4) The date of the petition;

(5) The date of the adjudication and

(6) The court where the case was brought.

Any information received under this paragraph is confidential and may not be further disseminated, except as otherwise provided by law. Any information received under this paragraph shall not become part of the student’s education record.

A majority of Commissioners approved this recommendation (vote: 11-2-1). Those voting in favor included Commissioners: Cathcart, Despres, Doiron, Dunphy, Grant, Johanson, Morse, Nutter Bruce, Shubert, Skoglund, and Walsh. Those voting against this recommendation were Commissioners Therrien and Stryker, who have submitted a Minority Report attached as Appendix F). Commissioner Stockford abstained.

9. Providing information to law enforcement officials

The Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (IASA) amended FERPA to permit educators, pursuant to a State statute, to disclose information to State and local officials, as long as the disclosure concerns the juvenile justice system. As a result, schools in States that have passed such statutes may now disclose information on students to other local and State agencies. Although a student's education records may be shared with a school's law enforcement unit, the law enforcement unit may not disclose the education records without prior parental or student consent (if the student is 18 years or older) or under a specified exception in FERPA.

Recommendation

The Commission therefore recommends that legislation be enacted which requires the school superintendent to provide information to local police or other appropriate law enforcement authorities with regard to the following offenses committed by any person on school grounds:

The information provided should include the nature of the offense, and the name and address of the offender. The Commission recommends that the superintendent provide this information to the police or other appropriate law enforcement authorities as soon as practicable.

A majority of Commissioners approved this recommendation (vote: 9-5). Those voting in favor included Commissioners: Cathcart, Despres, Doiron, Dunphy, Grant, Johanson, Morse, Skoglund, and Walsh. Those voting against this recommendation were Commissioners Nutter Bruce, Shubert, Stockford, Stryker and Therrien.

10. Providing immunity protections for school personnel

The Commission heard testimony that many schools sought to avoid disclosing violent or disruptive incidents that take place on school property. As a result, many teachers and school personnel were unwilling to raise safety or other concerns with school officials for fear that they would be retaliated against by the school administration.

The present “Whistleblower’s Protection Act”, 26 M.R.S.A. § 831 et seq. prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee who reports orally or in writing to the employer or a public body what the employee has reasonable cause to believe is a condition or practice that would put at risk the health or safety of that employee or any other individual.

Recommendation

The Commission recommends that legislation be enacted which requires protection from employment discrimination or retaliation specifically for school personnel who report safety concerns to school officials with regard to violent or disruptive students.

Commissioners unanimously approved this recommendation (vote: 14-0). Those voting in favor included Commissioners: Cathcart, Despres, Doiron, Dunphy, Grant, Johanson, Morse, Nutter Bruce, Shubert, Skoglund, Stockford, Stryker, Therrien and Walsh.

11. Support for violence prevention and intervention programs for teachers, staff and students

Conflict resolution education.

Research findings indicate that peer mediation programs reduce conflict and aggressiveness and improve staff and student perspectives regarding the school environment. Conflict resolution education programs should include instruction in the following areas: (a) the consequences of violent behavior; (b) the causes of violent reactions to conflict; (c) nonviolent conflict resolution techniques and (d) the relationship between drugs, alcohol and violence.

Testimony presented to the Commission indicated that more than 100 Maine schools have started peer mediation programs and that during the past six years over 2,000 students that have received peer mediation training. To expand upon the success of these efforts, the Commission proposes that the Department of Education identify the resources necessary to support grant funding and technical assistance for demonstration projects which can provide the benefits of conflict resolution education programs to more schools and communities across the State.

Recommendation

The Commission recommends that legislation be enacted which supports conflict resolution education for grades K-12, including training and development for educators and peer mediation programs for students. The Commission proposes that the State provide additional funding for conflict resolution education programs and further proposes that the Department of Education seek funding to implement a grant program to further support existing conflict resolution education programs in the schools and to provide technical assistance to other school administrative units across the State that seek to establish conflict resolution education and peer mediation programs.

Civil Rights Team Project.

In just three years, the Department of the Attorney General has supported the establishment of Civil Rights Teams in over 100 schools. These programs empower our youth and nurture a growing nucleus of peer role models who serve to change the culture in our schools by encouraging students to stand up and do the right thing. This program is succeeding in raising awareness and encouraging early reporting of acts of harassment.

Recommendation


The Commission recommends that the State increase funding for the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Team Project. Continued funding will expand the development of this intervention and further enable the Department of the Attorney General to reach more students and school personnel through its in-service training programs.

Identification and response to early signs of violent behavior.


Commissioners received testimony indicating that the so-called “pooled-flexible funding” model is a promising approach that can extend the benefits of expensive training programs to more schools than can currently afford such programs.

Recommendation


The Commission recommends that legislation be enacted which provides the necessary training that can help teachers and other school personnel identify and respond appropriately to violent and disruptive student behavior. The Legislature should determine how to utilize existing federal, state, local and private funding sources to provide educators with appropriate training that can develop the fundamental skills necessary to help diffuse initial inappropriate behaviors that may evolve into increasingly disruptive and more violent behavior.

Commissioners unanimously approved this recommendation (vote: 14-0). Those voting in favor included Commissioners: Cathcart, Despres, Doiron, Dunphy, Grant, Johanson, Morse, Nutter Bruce, Shubert, Skoglund, Stockford, Stryker, Therrien and Walsh.

APPENDIX A


RESOLVES 1997, CHAPTER 119
(H.P. 1520 - L.D. 2142)

Resolve, To Establish the Commission to Study Providing Educators
with More Authority to Remove Violent Students from Educational Settings

Sec. 1. Commission established. Resolved: That the Commission to Study Providing Educators with More Authority to Remove Violent Students from Educational Settings, referred to in this resolve as the "commission," is established; and be it further

Sec. 2. Membership. Resolved:
That the commission consists of 17 members appointed as follows:

1. Two Legislators who are members of the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and who jointly chair the commission, one of whom must be a Senator appointed by the President of the Senate, and one of whom must be a member of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House;

2. The Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's designee;

3. The Commissioner of Corrections, or the commissioner's designee;

4. The Commissioner of Human Services, or the commissioner's designee;

5. The Commissioner of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, or the commissioner's designee;

6. The Attorney General, or the Attorney General's designee;

7. One member representing parents appointed jointly by the Maine Parents' Federation, Maine Advocacy Services and the Maine Alliance for the Mentally Ill;

8. One member representing parents whose children attend a public school in the State, appointed by the President of the Senate;

9. One member who is a student representing a peer mediation group in the State, appointed by the President of the Senate;

10. Two members representing teachers who are public school teachers in the State, appointed by the Maine Education Association;

11. One member representing educational technicians in the State, appointed by the Speaker of the House;

12. One member representing school bus drivers in the State, appointed by the Speaker of the House;

13. One member representing superintendents in the State, appointed by the President of the School Superintendents Association;

14. One member representing school principals in the State, appointed by the President of the Maine Principals Association; and

15. One member representing school boards in the State, appointed by the Maine School Boards Association; and be it further

Sec. 3. Appointments; meetings. Resolved: That all appointments must be made no later than 30 days following the effective date of this resolve. The appointing authorities shall notify the Executive Director of the Legislative Council upon making their appointments. When the appointment of all members is complete, the Chair of the Legislative Council shall call and convene the first meeting of the commission no later than August 15, 1998; and be it further

Sec. 4. Duties. Resolved:
That the commission shall study the establishment and the effectiveness of districtwide school disciplinary policies and practices in the State and develop a plan to address the growing concern of violence in the public schools. In examining these issues, the commission may conduct public hearings to receive testimony on the incidence of disruptive student conduct and violent behavior in the public schools throughout the State. The commission review must include, but is not limited to, the following components:

1. The collection and analysis of available data related to the incidence of disruptive student conduct and violent behavior in the public schools throughout the State;

2. Effective districtwide school disciplinary policies, procedures and practices that seek to prevent or respond to disruptive or violent student conduct in the public schools;

3. The establishment of suggested student conduct and responsibility standards; and

4. The establishment of a system for notifying staff regarding a student with a history of violent behavior; and be it further

Sec. 5. Staff assistance. Resolved: That the commission shall request staffing and clerical assistance from the Legislative Council; and be it further

Sec. 6. Meetings. Resolved: That the commission may meet up to 4 times; and be it further

Sec. 7. Reimbursement. Resolved: That the members of the commission who are Legislators are entitled to receive the legislative per diem, as defined in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 3, section 2 for each day's attendance at meetings of the commission. All members of the commission are entitled to reimbursement for travel and other necessary expenses, upon application to the Legislative Council. The Executive Director of the Legislative Council shall administer the commission's budget; and be it further

Sec. 8. Report. Resolved:
That the commission shall submit its report together with any accompanying legislation to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs of the 118th Legislature by October 30, 1998; and be it further

Sec. 9. Appropriation. Resolved:
That the following funds are appropriated from the General Fund to carry out the purposes of this resolve.

1998-99

LEGISLATURE

Commission to Study Providing Educators
with More Authority to Remove Violent
Students from Educational Settings

Personal Services $440
All Other 4,900

Provides funds for the per diem of legislative members, expenses of members and public hearing and miscellaneous costs of the Commission to Study Providing Educators with More Authority to Remove Violent Students from Educational Settings.

LEGISLATURE
TOTAL
$5,340


(General effective date is July 9, 1998)



APPENDIX B

Commission Membership


COMMISSION TO STUDY PROVIDING EDUCATORS WITH MORE AUTHORITY TO REMOVE VIOLENT STUDENTS FROM EDUCATIONAL SETTINGS
(Resolves, Chapter 119)


Commission Membership

Appointed by the Senate President

Senator Mary Cathcart, Co-Chair Education and Cultural Affairs Committee
120 Main Street
Orono, Maine 04473

Ms. Vanessa Nutter Bruce Representing Parents of Children in Public
PO Box 225 Schools
West Enfield, Maine 04493

Christina Dunphy Student Representing Peer Mediation Group
477 Stillwater Avenue, Trailer #6
Bangor, Maine 04402

Appointed by the Speaker

Representative James Skoglund, Co-Chair Education and Cultural Affairs Committee
HC 61, Box 1055
St. George, Maine 04857

William True Representing School Bus Drivers
8 Summer Street
Winthrop, Maine 04364

Rick Hayward Representing Educational Technicians
12 Pleasant Street
Waterville, Maine 04901

Appointed Jointly by the Maine Parents’ Federation, Disability Rights Center, and Alliance for the Mentally Ill

Russell F. Stryker, Esq. Representing Parents
Director, Development Disabilities
PO Box 2007
24 Stone Street
Augusta, Maine 04338-2007

Appointed by the Maine Education Association

Prudence Grant Representing the Maine Education Association
23 Free Street
Lisbon Falls, Maine 04252

James H. Morse Representing Teachers
HC 64, Box 224
Brooklin, Maine 04616


Appointed by the Maine School Boards Association

Phyllis M. Shubert Representing School Boards in the State
38 Summit Avenue
Bangor, Maine 04401

Appointed by the Maine Principals Association

Elizabeth Johanson, Principal Representing Principals in the State
Lincoln Elementary School
40 Lincoln Street
Augusta, Maine 04330

Appointed by the President of the School Superintendents Association

Richard Abramson Representing Superintendents in the State
600 Limerick Road
Arundel, Maine 04046

Ex Officio

J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner Commissioner of Education
Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0023

Ann Therrien Commissioner’s Designee, Department of Corrections
Department of Corrections
Regional Correctional Administrator
Juvenile Services Region II
PO Box 3098, 79 Main Street
Auburn, Maine

Peter Walsh, Deputy Commissioner Commissioner’s Designee, Department of Human Services
Department of Human Services
11 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0011

Robyn Boustead Commissioner’s Designee, Department of Mental Health,
Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse
Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse
Children’s Services Program Manager
40 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0040

Andrew Ketterer, Attorney General Office of Attorney General
6 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-00006

Commission Staff:

Phillip McCarthy, Ed.D., Legislative Analyst
David Webb, Esq., Legislative Analyst
Maine State Legislature
Office of Policy and Legal Analysis
13 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0013



APPENDIX C

Meeting Summaries: Potential Findings and Recommendations

(Not available)


APPENDIX D

Civil rights Cases in Maine

(Not available)


APPENDIX E

Additional Information on Other States' School Safety Program



Summary of School Violence Legislation From Selected States

I. Juvenile Court Records Legislation

Georgia

· Within 30 days of any proceeding in which a child 13 to 17 years of age is convicted the superior court shall provide written notice to the school superintendent. Such notice shall include the specific criminal offense that such child committed.
· A local school system to which the student is assigned may request further information from the court's file
· If the student has been convicted of an offense which is a designated felony, administrator shall so inform all teachers to whom the student is assigned.

Michigan

30 days after conviction or adjudication the pupil's parent or legal guardian shall:
· notify school officials of the conviction, and
· execute any waivers or consents necessary to allow school officials access to court records concerning the conviction or adjudication.

If legal guardian seeks to enroll the pupil in a school district other than the school district in which he or she resides, guardian must:

· disclose to school officials that the pupil has been expelled
· disclose to school officials each of the criminal or juvenile court convictions and
· execute any waivers or consents necessary to allow school officials access.

Kentucky

· court shall notify the principal if child is adjudicated guilty of a violent offense
· name of the complainant shall be deleted
· the county attorney may give the school a statement of facts in the case.
· Records or information disclosed shall not be disclosed to any other person, including school personnel, except to public or private elementary and secondary school administrative and counseling personnel, and to any teacher to whose class the student has been assigned for instruction


West Virginia (arrest records disclosed under certain conditions)

· juvenile arrest records shall be disclosed to the county superintendent and to the principal of the school which the juvenile attends under the following circumstances:
· juvenile has been charged with an offense which would be a felony, or involved violence or the use of a weapon against a person or involved a controlled substance
· A judge, magistrate or referee has determined that there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile committed the offense as charged;
· The principal has a duty to disclose arrest information to any teacher who teaches a class in which the subject juvenile is enrolled
· information must be treated as absolutely confidential by the school official to whom they are transmitted, and nothing contained within the juvenile's records shall be noted on the juvenile's permanent educational record- duty to promptly correct any mistake that he or she has made in disclosing juvenile records
· One year after the juvenile's eighteenth birthday, law-enforcement files and records shall be sealed by operation of law.
· The notice from the court to the school shall contain a statement that “our legal system requires a presumption of innocence.”
· records of a juvenile proceeding shall be sealed by operation of law if the juvenile is subsequently acquitted
· No discrimination is allowed against any juvenile in any manner due to that juvenile’s prior involvement in a proceeding under this article if that juvenile's records have been expunged
· The court shall forward the juvenile's records to the juvenile's new school

Maryland


· If a child enrolled in the public school system is arrested for a reportable offense, (crime of violence or other enumerated crimes) the law enforcement agency making the arrest shall notify the local superintendent of the arrest and the charges within 24 hours of the arrest or as soon as practicable.

· Information is to remain confidential, and not be made part of the child's permanent educational record.

II. Alternative Programs- (Educational alternatives for expelled students.)

Maryland

Special programs for disruptive students.

· Each county board of education and the Board of School Commissioners shall establish special programs for students in the public school system who exhibit disruptive classroom behavior.

· The State shall appropriate an amount of money for allocation by the State Department of Education to local education agencies to support the development and expansion of special programs for disruptive youth.

· Local education agencies may apply for State support for special programs for disruptive youth. Proposals for funding shall include:

(1) An assessment of the number of student needs
(2) Specific plans with goals and measurable objectives
(3) Adherence to the State Board regulations on disciplinary policies
(4) procedure involving the participation of administrators, teachers,
parents, students, and other members of the community; and
(5) In-service training and staff development for administrators, teachers,
and other school personnel.

Colorado

· Each school district shall adopt policies to:

· identify students who are at risk of suspension or expulsion from school, and
· provide at risk students with the necessary support services to help them avoid expulsion.

· Upon expulsion of a student, the school district shall provide information to the student's parent or guardian concerning the educational alternatives available to the student during the period of expulsion.

· The school district shall contact the expelled student's parent or guardian at least once every sixty days until the beginning of the next school year to determine whether the student is receiving educational services from some other source.

· Upon request of a student or the student's parent or guardian, the school district shall provide, for any student who is expelled from the school district, any educational services that are deemed appropriate for the student by the school district.

· The expelling school district may provide educational services in cooperation with one or more other school districts, boards of cooperative services, or pilot schools

Services for at-risk students - agreements with state agencies and community organizations.

· Each school district, regardless of the number of students expelled by the district, may enter into agreements with appropriate local governmental agencies to provide services to any student who is identified as being at risk of suspension or expulsion or who has been suspended or expelled and to the student's family. (such services may include):

(a) Educational services;
(b) Counseling services;
(c) Drug or alcohol-addiction treatment programs;
(d) Family preservation services.

The Expelled Student Services Grant Program,

A pilot school may annually apply for a grant (to provide educational and support services for expelled students)

Any awarded program shall Provide:

· supervision, discipline, counseling, and continuous education for a suspended student with the goal of maintaining the education of a suspended student and preventing further disruptive behavior, subsequent suspension, or expulsion;

· Provide for a transitional stage from in-school or in-home suspension to regular school activities;

· Include an agreement by the participating public school that any student suspended (for specifically enumerated reasons) shall be included in the program;

· Include an evaluation phase based on the collection of data that shall measure effectiveness of the program;

A program may include, but need not be limited to, any of the following:

(a) Programs that utilize new instructional, counseling, or disciplinary concepts;

(b) Programs that utilize current public school staff or other personnel;

(c) Programs that encourage parental participation and involvement;

(d) Programs that employ individualized instruction, computer-assisted instruction, or other automated equipment for instruction;

(e) Programs that provide behavioral modification or anger management techniques.

In awarding grants, the state board shall consider the following criteria:

· costs incurred by the applying school district in providing educational services

· number of expelled students receiving educational services

· quality of educational services

· cost-effectiveness of the educational services

· amount of funding received by the school district

Each proposal must include a breakdown of all costs that would be incurred upon approval of the program.


Georgia

· It is the policy of this state that it is preferable to reassign disruptive students to isolated and individual oriented in-school suspension programs or alternative educational settings rather than to suspend or expel such students from school.

· The State Board of Education is authorized to create an alternative school program for students in grades 6 - 12 to serve students who violate the student code of conduct. This program shall provide individualized instruction and intervention. In addition, this program shall provide transition assistance to other programs that can help these students become successful students and good citizens.

· The educational program for an alternative school must include the objectives of the quality core curriculum, ensuring that the instructional program will enable students to make the transition to a regular school program

· state board is authorized to grant alternative school status on a multiyear basis, not to exceed five years

· If a school district is granted alternative school status for one or more schools and fails to comply with the (enumerated) requirements for annual reporting, state funding may be withheld.

· Each local board of education is authorized to refuse to readmit or enroll any student who has been suspended, expelled or denied enrollment in a local school system, as appropriate and in the best interest of the student and the education of other students within the school system.


III. Violence Prevention and Conflict Resolution Education

Illinois

· School districts shall provide instruction in violence prevention and conflict resolution education for grades 4 through 12 and may include such instruction in the courses of study regularly taught therein. School districts may give regular school credit for satisfactory completion by the student of such courses.

· As used in his section, “violence prevention and conflict resolution education” means and includes instruction in the following:
includes instruction in the following:

1. The consequences of violent behavior.
2. The causes of violent reactions to conflict.
3. Nonviolent conflict resolution techniques.
4. The relationship between drugs, alcohol and violence.

The State Board of Education shall prepare and make available to all school boards instructional materials that may be used as guidelines for the development of violence prevention program under this section; provided however that each school board shall determine the appropriate curriculum for satisfying the requirements of this Section. The State Board of Education shall assist in training teachers to provide effective instruction in the violence prevention curriculum.


Florida


(Alternative School Funding Formula)

· The clerk of the circuit court of the county is authorized to create a juvenile assessment center and suspension school account

· Moneys deposited into the account shall include the proceeds of a $3 surcharge which shall be assessed as a court cost by both the circuit court and the county court in the county against every person who pleads guilty or nolo contendre to, or is convicted of, regardless of adjudication, a violation of a state criminal statute or a municipal ordinance or county ordinance

IV. Suspension/Expulsion

Maryland

Procedures for suspension of not more than 10 school days:


· The student or his parent or guardian promptly shall be given a conference with the principal and any other appropriate personnel

Suspension for more than 10 school days or expulsion.


· At the request of a principal, a county superintendent may suspend a student for more than 10 school days or expel him. Upon expulsion, the superintendent or his designated representative promptly shall make a thorough investigation of the matter. If after the investigation the county superintendent finds that a longer suspension or expulsion is warranted, he promptly shall arrange a conference with the student and his parent or guardian.

· the student or his parent or guardian may:

(i) Appeal to the county board within 10 days after the determination;
(ii) Be heard before the county board,
(iii) Bring counsel and witnesses
(iv)the hearing shall be held out of the presence of all individuals except those whose presence is considered necessary or desirable by the board.
(v) The decision of the county board is final.


APPENDIX F

Minority Report Recommendations