Members of the House of Representatives voted 48-20 to support a bill that would change the suspension provisions for students participating in extracurricular activities who have been convicted of a drug related offense.
“We should be encouraging kids to participate (in extracurricular activities) rather than prohibiting them to do so,” Rep. Kris Langer said in support of the bill.
Senate Bill 113 would impose a thirty calendar day suspension and would make the student ineligible for two games/activities upon completion of the suspension for a first offense. Offending students must complete an assessment with a certified chemical dependency counselor as part of the suspension guidelines.
A second offense would result in a sixty calendar day suspension and would make the student ineligible for six games/activities upon completion of the suspension. Offending students must complete an intensive prevention or treatment program as part of the suspension guidelines.
A third offense would result in permanent ineligibility in extracurricular activities for the offending student. Current law mandates students be permanently ineligible following a second offense.
Students must complete the entire activity season in order for the punishment to remain valid and suspensions would carry over from each activity season if the season concluded during the time of suspension.
The bill does allow school districts to increase the penalties, if they so choose.
ASBSD supports the bill.
UPDATE: Senators voted 35-0 on Wednesday morning to concur with the amendment – changing “chemical dependency” to “licensed addiction” counselor – made by the House to SB 113.
The bill now moves to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for signature or veto.
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