DENVER – The Colorado House Education Committee passed Senate Bill 46 – the smart school discipline bill – in a stunning unanimous vote this afternoon. Rep. B.J. Nikkel and Rep. Claire Levy are the House bill sponsors.
“School administrators need to have the discretion to use common sense when dealing with student misbehavior because the bottom line is students need to be in school learning,” said Ricardo Martinez, Co-Executive Director of Padres & Jóvenes Unidos. “We are pleased the Senators recognized that existing zero tolerance discipline derails students’ education and wastes the time and resources of the law enforcement system.”
Youth members of Padres & Jóvenes Unidos have been a driving force for school discipline reform since the fall of 2010, when they began researching state laws and district policies, educating fellow students around the state and testifying before the task force and in other venues. They continue to be a presence at the Capitol to promote smart discipline for safe schools.
“It’s amazing that up to 10,000 kids a year will stay out of the juvenile justice system for minor misbehavior due to this bill,” said Dionna Hudson, a leader of Jóvenes Unidos and student at Denver’s South High School. “The legislators understand that students need to be in school.”
The bill will advance to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote within the next week.
Padres & Jóvenes Unidos is a multi-issue organization led by people of color who work for educational excellence, racial justice for youth, immigrant rights and quality healthcare for all.
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call (303) 458-6545 or visit padresunidos.org