Falls City Superintendent Weary of Student Discipline Bill in Legislature

Falls City Superintendent Weary of Student Discipline Bill in Legislature
Superintendent of Falls City Public School Tim Heckenlively, is monitoring a legislative bill that allow teachers to use corporal punishment in extreme cases.

FALLS CITY – The superintendent of Falls City Public Schools does not believe a student discipline bill, that will soon hit the floor of the legislature, is necessary.

Legislative Bill 595, introduced by chair of the education committee Mike Groene of North Platte, advanced out of committee this week on a 5-2 vote.

The bill would allow teachers to use corporal punishment on unruly students. Current state law outlaws corporal punishment.

Specifically, the bill lets teachers use physical force, physical restraint or remove a student from the classroom, in response to extreme student behavior.

Superintendent of Falls City public does not think the new law should pass.

“We see it increasing the liability on school teachers and school officials,” says Heckenlively.

The new amendment to the Nebraska Student Discipline Act, would not allow a student to re-enter the classroom that he or she has been removed from, unless the teacher gives permission. Some exceptions to this rule for special education students would apply.

Heckenlively says some senators want it done after hearing “extreme cases” from their constituents. He says Falls City public school teachers would likely have to have more formal training on physical restraint and thinks his teachers already have enough tools in place to handle their students.

“We feel like the current student discipline law allows us all the authority that we need to handle discipline in our schools. We don’t believe that the current statute needs to be changed and for that reason we’re out against it,” says Heckenlively.

The bill does not require any additional formal training for teachers.

The Nebraska State Education Association testified in favor of the bill, while other state groups including the ACLU and Nebraska Association of Special Education Supervisors have vocally denounced the bill.

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