Teachers should call home if a student is removed from a classroom for disruptive behavior under a new bill.
Representative John Wiemann, R-O’Fallon introduces the House Bill 1836, which would require schools to report to all parents if a disruptive incident occurs in the classroom.
Wiemann said the bill aims to promote transparency.
“The idea is that if there’s an incident in the classroom where it’s quite a traumatic situation, maybe a kid is violent or has a major outburst and they’re taken out of the classroom, that the teacher just needs to let the rest of the parents of the other kids in the room let them know, ‘Hey, we had a problem in class today,’” he said.
Wiemann said he didn’t believe the bill would require the teacher to specify who the student was.
Rep. Paula Brown, D-Hazelwood, said she would like to see more definition on this concept as she considered potential issues.
“This is not a bill that says we are going to punish other students individually, not that we are going to put more stress and responsibility on already overstretched staff,” said Thomas Emmons, a school board member from Fort Zumwalt. “But rather, it’s a bill that says we’re in this together, and when your child experiences something, we’ll be there to let you know what it was, up to a point, so that you can partner with schools as parents and help get things done.”
Simmons said the bill would prevent parents from making harmful assumptions about what might have happened.
HB 2844, sponsored by Rep. Travis Smith, R-Dora, would allow school personnel to provide first aid or medication without liability, provided they follow procedure and act in good faith.
Smith said one in 16 children have allergies. He said his bill would allow coaches and school bus drivers to administer a treatment like epinephrine for an allergic reaction.
The bill received support from several committee members, some of whom had family members with severe allergies.
Rep. Ron Hicks, R-Defiance, said he supports the bill, but wonders who would pay for epinephrine devices, such as EpiPens, which can be quite expensive.
Smith said he would find the answer.
Rep. Mike Haffner, R-Pleasant Hill, offered to work with Smith after the hearing to figure out how to change his bill, since some of the provisions were already in the law.
The committee also passed HB 1933, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, which would require the state Department of Education to provide a “civil rights era” curriculum covering topics such as Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust and other civil rights violations. Under the bill, every school board would also have to require schools to study the struggles of black Americans during the month of February.
It also passed HB 2211, sponsored by Rep. Josh Hurlbert, R-Smithville, which would expand the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program, often called a “school choice” initiative, to all counties with a population of 100,000. or more. That would be Boone, Cass, Clay, Franklin, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Platte, St. Charles, and St. Louis counties.
The committee passed HB 2292, which allows schools to offer Bible courses. Rep. Maggie Nurrenbern, D-Kansas City, proposed an amendment to extend these courses to all religious texts, but Rep. Ben Baker, R-Neosho, said he would not support the amendment because no other religious texts did not have the same impact. on the founding of America. The amendment was reversed and the bill passed.
HB 1836: Trauma Sensitive Schools
Sponsor: Rep. John Wiemann
HB 2844: Liability Protections for School District Employees
Sponsor: Rep. Travis Smith
HB 1933: school program
Sponsor: Rep. Chuck Basye
HB 2211: Empowerment Fellowship Accounts
Sponsor: Rep. Josh Hurlbert
HB 2292: Humanities Electives
Sponsor: Rep. Ben Baker