Beginning in September, school children in Texas who harass teachers on campus will now be referred to a disciplinary program outside of their regular classroom.
Proponents cited students who threaten to burn a teacher's home down or threaten to injure pregnant teachers when pushing SB 2432.
Lonnie Hollingsworth, general counsel for the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, says such harassment will now trigger a conference between school officials and parents about the student's behavior before that student is removed from class.
“It's to consider moving a student to a disciplinary alternative education program, if that student engages in harassment against a school employee,” he says.
Opponents, such as Texas Appleseed's School-to-Prison Pipeline Project, argue removing kids from their classroom only encourages them to drop out.
“What about all the other students in the classroom who are suffering educationally because that student is disrupting the class? Their needs have to be considered as well,” says Hollingsworth.
Hollingsworth says the legislation stems largely from the school safety measures proposed after last year's Santa Fe High School shooting that left eight students and two teachers dead.
“It's a step forward to actually have some place where the students are supervised and are receiving intervention, than it was back in the old days when they could just kick them out of class.”