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Changes in school ‘zero tolerance’ policies headed to Governor Snyder’s desk

School desks
Flickr user Frank Juarez/Flickr

Schools might get more freedom in how they discipline students in the future. Legislation that would alter Michigan’s zero-tolerance policy in schools is headed to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk.

The legislation would, in part, give schools options besides automatic expulsion or suspension when bringing potential weapons into schools. Proponents say it would help reduce the number of students out of school because of suspension or expulsion.

Bill sponsor Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing) said instead of automatically expelling or suspending a student, the intent should be examined.

We just added language that says and the school can review the situation to see, and here are some options for what they would do whether there is intent or not intent,” he said. “So we updated it. We updated it for the better.”

Schor they are, “inserting just a little bit of common sense into the zero tolerance law.”

The legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. It would take effect on August 1, 2017.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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