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Alabama House passes bill aimed at standardizing process for school suspensions


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — School systems in Alabama have different standards for discipline. One lawmaker is working to level these standards.

State Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur) sponsors a bill that gives students a chance to tell their side of the story when discipline is required. The bill passed in the House on Thursday.

The bill gives students due process in school systems. It also gives students the right to a hearing before being suspended if it is for more than two weeks.

Collins said that many times students know they did something wrong, but not in every situation.

“In case there’s a conflict between one administrator and one student — to give them a chance before they go to the court system to tell their side,” Collins said.

Some said schools already have a due process for suspension, but not all.

“I’ve never known anybody in Jefferson County where their child has been suspended,” State Rep. Juandalynn Givan (D-Birmingham) said. “I will give our school boards credit for that. They go through a step for due process.”

Some school boards have said the bill takes the power away from them.

“Locals like to keep complete local control, and I support a lot of local control,” Collins said.

She said this bill keeps local control but gives students the ability to advocate for themselves. The bill now heads to the Senate for a committee vote.

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