Members of the House Judiciary committee unanimously passed a bill that revises the suspension requirements for students participating in extracurricular activities that are convicted of a drug related offense.
“We should be in the business of helping students make good choices…rather than focusing on punishment,” Rep. Kris Langer, a co-sponsor of the bill, testified before the committee.
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.
“You get a good balance between consequences and keeping those kids in (activities) if they’ve served those consequences,” Executive Director Wade Pogany testified.
The bill now moves to the House floor for debate and vote.
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