Lawmakers OK easing expulsion, suspension laws

Posted at 3:14 PM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 15:14:43-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that would soften “zero-tolerance” expulsion and suspension requirements by inserting what backers say is some common sense into the process.

Bills approved overwhelmingly by the House Wednesday would require school officials to consider certain factors before expelling or suspending students. They include the pupil’s age, disciplinary history and whether the misconduct threatened the safety of others.

Other factors would include whether the student has a disability, if a lesser punishment could address the violation and whether “restorative” meetings between the offender and a victim could help.

Bringing a gun to school would remain an automatic expulsion. Backers say too many kids are being harshly disciplined for inadvertently bringing weapons to school.

The legislation goes to Gov. Rick Snyder for his expected signature.