An update to a column I wrote a couple of weeks ago titled “School Expulsions in Michigan”.  Yesterday the Michigan House of Representatives approved the package of bills (HB 5618-5621) with their goal to reduce school suspensions and expulsions.

Again it was another example of bipartisan support, we are seeing that a lot these days in the Republican controlled House and Senate.

The bills passed in the House will eliminate mandatory suspensions and expulsions for certain behaviors i.e. fighting and bringing a weapon to school.

Wait even bringing a weapon to school, huh, we will need to find out more about this.

As I reported in my last column the package of bills would require Michigan schools to consider the following factors when doling out expulsions or suspensions:

  • a student’s age
  • disciplinary history
  • whether the student has a disability
  • and the seriousness of the violation before suspending or expelling a student for truancy, chronic absenteeism or any of the other reasons schools can expel or suspend students.

In a written statement the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) spokesman Bill Disessa said MDE supports the bills because it moves beyond the "zero-tolerance policies and one-size-fits all approaches to student discipline”.  He also added "We favor policies that include flexibility and alternative solutions in order to keep students in school learning”.

The package of bills now moves on to the Senate.

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