DENVER (CBS4)– A bill to overhaul school discipline in Colorado has been put on hold in the state Legislature.
Supporters lobbied at the state Capitol on Thursday for the measure that would eliminate mandatory expulsion for minor offenses under state’s zero tolerance policy.
The bill is the product of a task force created in 2011 that includes lawmakers, educators, parents, students, police and prosecutors. They claim the zero tolerance policies that evolved after the Columbine High School shootings have led to thousands of expulsions for minor infractions.
“These practices can undermine students’ educational opportunities and put them at greater risk in involvement with the juvenile justice system. These practices have not been shown to promote school safety or academic success,” said Sen. Linda Newell, a Democrat representing Englewood, Littleton and Centennial.
The bill gives schools discretion over zero tolerance policies and makes it clear they must reduce student referrals to police. The bill was heard in committee on Thursday and held over for further consideration.