State Representatives Bill Hayes (R-Harrison Twp.) and Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) today announced that the Ohio House has passed legislation that would allow school districts in Ohio to have more authority when keeping students safe and addressing dangerous behavior among students.
House Bill 334 would grant superintendents of Ohio school districts the permission to expel students in certain situations in which a student threatens the safety or wellbeing of other students and staff, but has not yet committed a crime for which they can be expelled under current law.
The legislation also requires that the superintendent create a plan for the continued education of the expelled student within five days of the expulsion.
“We must do all we can to protect students and school personnel from risks before a bad act occurs, not after the damage has been done,” said Rep. Hayes. “This bill gives schools another tool.”
Under the legislation, the expulsion cannot last more than 180 days and must only be instituted if a student poses an “imminent and severe endangerment to the health and safety of other students or school employees.” Further, the school board or superintendent must also establish criteria for the early termination of the expulsion or for the continuation of the expulsion for up to 90 more days.
Rep. Hottinger said, “I am pleased to see that my colleagues in the House have decided to make this issue a priority. Unfortunately school violence has become more prevalent in today’s society and we want to ensure that our school administrators are given the tools needed to protect students. I believe this legislation will not only add to the safety of our schools by removing dangerous students, but will also provide mechanisms to rehabilitate those students and return them to school when they are ready.”
The Ohio Senate will now take the bill into consideration.