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SF 2920

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 03/06/2018 08:42am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.

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Current Version - as introduced

A bill for an act
relating to education; providing for nonexclusionary pupil disciplinary policies
and practices; requiring a report;amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections
121A.41, by adding a subdivision; 121A.42; 121A.45; 121A.46, subdivisions 2,
3, by adding subdivisions; 121A.47, subdivision 2; 121A.53, subdivision 1;
121A.55; 121A.61; 121A.67, by adding a subdivision.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 121A.41, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


Subd. 12.

Nonexclusionary disciplinary policies and practices; alternatives to pupil
removal and dismissal.

"Nonexclusionary disciplinary policies and practices" means
policies and practices that are alternatives to removing a pupil from class or dismissing a
pupil from school, including positive behavioral interventions and supports and alternative
education services, that require school officials to intervene in, redirect, and support a pupil's
behavior before removing a pupil from class or beginning dismissal proceedings.
Nonexclusionary disciplinary policies and practices include but are not limited to the policies
and practices under sections 121A.031, subdivision 4, paragraph (a), clause (1); 121A.575,
clauses (1) and (2); and 121A.61, subdivision 3, paragraph (q).

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 121A.42, is amended to read:


121A.42 POLICY.

(a) No public school shall deny due process or equal protection of the law to any public
school pupil involved in a dismissal proceeding which may result in suspension, exclusion,
or expulsion.

(b) School officials are encouraged to use nonexclusionary disciplinary policies and
practices before beginning dismissal proceedings.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 121A.45, is amended to read:


121A.45 GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL.

Subdivision 1.

Provision of alternative programs.

No school shall dismiss any pupil
without attempting to provide alternative educational services or use nonexclusionary
disciplinary policies and practices
before dismissal proceedings, except where it appears
that the pupil will create an immediate and substantial danger to self or to surrounding
persons or property.

Subd. 1a.

Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, "willful" or "willfully" means
deliberate, intentional, and knowing.

Subd. 2.

Grounds for dismissal.

A pupil may be dismissed on any of the following
grounds
for:

(a) (1) willful violation of any reasonable school board regulation. Such regulation must
be
that is specific and sufficiently clear and definite to provide notice to pupils that they
must conform their conduct to its requirements;

(b) (2) willful conduct that significantly disrupts the rights of others to an education, or
the ability of school personnel to perform their duties, or school sponsored extracurricular
activities; or

(c) (3) willful conduct that endangers the pupil or other pupils, or surrounding persons,
including school district employees, or property of the school.

Subd. 3.

Parent notification and meeting.

If a pupil's total days of removal from school
exceeds ten cumulative days in a school year, the school district shall make reasonable
attempts to convene a meeting with the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian before
subsequently removing the pupil from school and, with the permission of the parent or
guardian, arrange for a mental health screening for the pupil. The district is not required to
pay for the mental health screening. The purpose of this meeting is to attempt to determine
the pupil's need for assessment or other services or whether the parent or guardian should
have the pupil assessed or diagnosed to determine whether the pupil needs treatment for a
mental health disorder.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 121A.46, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Administrator notifies pupil of grounds for suspension.

At the informal
administrative conference, a school administrator shall notify the pupil of the grounds for
the suspension, provide an explanation of and explain the evidence the authorities have,
and
. The pupil may present the pupil's version of the facts and ask questions but is not
required to do so. A school administrator must inform the pupil that
the pupil may is not
required to
present the pupil's version of the facts.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 121A.46, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Written notice of grounds for suspension.

A written notice containing of
grounds for suspension shall be personally served upon the pupil at or before the time the
suspension is to take effect and served upon the pupil's parent or guardian by mail within
48 hours of the conference. A written notice required under this section must contain:

(1) the grounds for suspension,;

(2) a brief statement of the facts,;

(3) a description of the testimony,;

(4) documents indicating the nonexclusionary disciplinary policies and practices initially
used with the pupil, if applicable;

(5) the length of the suspension;

(6) a readmission plan, that includes the pupil's date of return to school;

(7) a request for a meeting with the pupil's parent or guardian consistent with subdivision
3a;
and

(8) a copy of sections 121A.40 to 121A.56, shall be personally served upon the pupil at
or before the time the suspension is to take effect, and upon the pupil's parent or guardian
by mail within 48 hours of the conference
.

The district shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parents of the suspension by telephone
or electronically as soon as possible following the suspension. In the event a pupil is
suspended without an informal administrative conference on the grounds that the pupil will
create an immediate and substantial danger to surrounding persons or property, the written
notice shall be served upon the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian within 48 hours of
the suspension. Service by mail is complete upon mailing.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 121A.46, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


Subd. 3a.

Parent notification and meeting; suspension; mental health screening.

(a)
After suspending a pupil from school, a school official must make reasonable attempts to
convene a meeting with the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian within 30 calendar days
of the dismissal. The purpose of the meeting is to engage the pupil's parent or guardian in
developing a plan to help the pupil succeed in school by addressing the behavior that led
to the dismissal.

(b) If a pupil's total days of removal from school exceeds ten cumulative days in a school
year, the school district shall make reasonable attempts to convene a meeting with the pupil
and the pupil's parent or guardian before subsequently removing the pupil from school and,
with the permission of the parent or guardian, arrange for a mental health screening for the
pupil. The district is not required to pay for the mental health screening. The purpose of
this meeting is to attempt to determine the pupil's need for assessment or other services or
whether the parent or guardian should have the pupil assessed or diagnosed to determine
whether the pupil needs treatment for a mental health disorder.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 121A.46, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


Subd. 5.

Minimum education services.

School officials must give a suspended pupil
the opportunity to complete all school work assigned during the period of the pupil's
suspension and to receive full credit for satisfactorily completing the assignments. The
school principal or other person having administrative control of the school building or
program is encouraged to designate a district or school employee as a liaison to work with
the pupil's teachers to allow the suspended pupil to (1) receive timely course materials and
other information, and (2) complete daily and weekly assignments and receive teachers'
feedback.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 121A.47, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Written notice.

Written notice of intent to take action shall:

(a) (1) be served upon the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian personally or by mail;

(b) (2) contain a complete statement of the facts, a list of the witnesses and a description
of their testimony;

(c) (3) explain the grounds for expelling the pupil instead of imposing nonexclusionary
disciplinary policies and practices under section 121A.41, subdivision 12;

(4) state the date, time, and place of the hearing;

(d) (5) be accompanied by a copy of sections 121A.40 to 121A.56;

(e) (6) describe alternative educational services accorded the pupil in an attempt to avoid
the exclusion or expulsion proceedings; and

(f) (7) inform the pupil and parent or guardian of the right to:

(1) (i) have a representative of the pupil's own choosing, including legal counsel, at the
hearing. The district shall must advise the pupil's parent or guardian that free or low-cost
legal assistance may be available and that a legal assistance resource list is available from
the Department of Education;

(2) (ii) examine the pupil's records before the hearing;

(3) (iii) present evidence; and

(4) (iv) confront and cross-examine witnesses.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 121A.53, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Exclusions and expulsions; physical assaults.

(a) Consistent with
subdivision 2,
the school board must report through use the department electronic reporting
system to report to the commissioner each exclusion or expulsion and, each physical assault
of a district employee by a student pupil, and each verbal or written agreement of a parent
or guardian to withdraw a pupil from the school or district instead of having the pupil
excluded or expelled
within 30 days of the effective date of the dismissal action or assault
to the commissioner of education. This report must include a statement of alternative
educational services, or other sanction, intervention, or resolution in response to the assault
given the pupil and the reason for,
identify:

(1) the pupil's behavior leading to the discipline;

(2) the nonexclusionary disciplinary policies and practices used, if applicable;

(3) any attempts to provide the pupil with alternative education services before excluding
or expelling the pupil;

(4) the effective date, and of the disciplinary action; and

(5) the duration of the exclusion or expulsion or other sanction, intervention, or resolution.

The report must also include the student's pupil's age, grade, gender, race, and special
education status.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 121A.55, is amended to read:


121A.55 POLICIES TO BE ESTABLISHED.

(a) The commissioner of education shall promulgate guidelines to assist each school
board. Each school board shall establish uniform criteria for dismissal and adopt written
policies and rules to effectuate the purposes of sections 121A.40 to 121A.56. The policies
shall emphasize preventing dismissals through early detection of problems and shall be
designed to address students' pupils' inappropriate behavior from recurring. The policies
shall recognize the continuing responsibility of the school for the education of the pupil
during the dismissal period. The alternative educational services, if the pupil wishes to take
advantage of them, must be adequate to allow the pupil to make progress towards meeting
the graduation standards adopted under section 120B.02 and help prepare the pupil for
readmission.

(b) An area learning center under section 123A.05 may not prohibit an expelled or
excluded pupil from enrolling solely because a district expelled or excluded the pupil. The
board of the area learning center may use the provisions of the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act to
exclude a pupil or to require an admission plan.

(c) Each school district shall develop a policy and report it to the commissioner on the
appropriate use of peace and school resource officers and crisis teams to remove students
pupils
who have an individualized education program from school grounds.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 121A.61, is amended to read:


121A.61 DISCIPLINE AND REMOVAL OF STUDENTS PUPILS FROM CLASS.

Subdivision 1.

Required policy.

Each school board must adopt a written districtwide
school discipline policy which includes written rules of conduct for students pupils, minimum
potential consequences for violations of the rules, parental notification requirements, and
grounds and procedures for removal of a student pupil from class. The board must develop
the
policy must be developed in consultation with administrators, teachers, employees,
pupils, parents, community members, law enforcement agencies, county attorney offices,
social service agencies, and such other individuals or organizations as the board determines
appropriate. A school site council may adopt additional provisions to the policy subject to
the approval of the school board.

Subd. 2.

Grounds for removal from class.

The policy must establish the various grounds
for which a student pupil may be removed from a class in the district for a period of time
under the procedures specified in the policy. The policy must include a procedure for
notifying and meeting with a student's pupil's parent or guardian to discuss the problem that
is causing the student pupil to be removed from class after the student pupil has been removed
from class more than ten five times in one school year. The grounds in the policy must
include at least the following provisions as well as other grounds determined appropriate
by the board:

(a) willful conduct that significantly disrupts the rights of others to an education, including
conduct that interferes with a teacher's ability to teach or communicate effectively with
students pupils in a class or with the ability of other students pupils to learn;

(b) willful conduct that endangers surrounding persons, including school district
employees, the student pupil, or other students pupils, or the property of the school; and

(c) willful violation of any rule of conduct specified in the discipline policy adopted by
the board.

Subd. 3.

Policy components.

The policy must include at least the following components:

(a) rules governing student pupil conduct and procedures for informing students pupils
of the rules;

(b) the grounds for removal of a student pupil from a class;

(c) the authority of the classroom teacher to remove students pupils from the classroom
pursuant to procedures and rules established in the district's policy;

(d) the procedures for removal of a student pupil from a class by a teacher, school
administrator, or other school district employee;

(e) the period of time for which a student pupil may be removed from a class, which
may not exceed five class periods for a violation of a rule of conduct;

(f) provisions relating to the responsibility for and custody of a student pupil removed
from a class;

(g) the procedures for return of a student pupil to the specified class from which the
student pupil has been removed;

(h) the procedures for notifying a student pupil and the student's pupil's parents or
guardian of violations of the rules of conduct and of resulting disciplinary actions;

(i) any procedures determined appropriate for encouraging early involvement of parents
or guardians in attempts to improve a student's pupil's behavior;

(j) any procedures determined appropriate for encouraging early detection of behavioral
problems;

(k) any procedures determined appropriate for referring a student pupil in need of special
education services to those services;

(1) the procedures for consideration of whether there is a need for a further assessment
or of whether there is a need for a review of the adequacy of a current individualized
education program of a student pupil with a disability who is removed from class;

(m) procedures for detecting and addressing chemical abuse problems of a student pupil
while on the school premises;

(n) the minimum potential consequences for violations of the code of conduct;

(o) procedures for immediate and appropriate interventions tied to violations of the code;

(p) a provision that states that a teacher, school employee, school bus driver, or other
agent of a district may use reasonable force in compliance with section 121A.582 and other
laws;

(q) an agreement regarding procedures to coordinate crisis services to the extent funds
are available with the county board responsible for implementing sections 245.487 to
245.4889 for students pupils with a serious emotional disturbance or other students pupil's
who have an individualized education program whose behavior may be addressed by crisis
intervention; and

(r) a provision that states a student pupil must be removed from class immediately if the
student pupil engages in assault or violent behavior. For purposes of this paragraph, "assault"
has the meaning given it in section 609.02, subdivision 10. The removal shall be for a period
of time deemed appropriate by the principal, in consultation with the teacher.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 121A.67, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


Subd. 3.

Parent notification.

A school administrator must make and document efforts
to immediately contact the parent or guardian of a pupil removed from a school building
or school grounds by a peace or school resource officer unless such notice is specifically
prohibited by law.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

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