Updates to Student Discipline Act vetoed

Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed a bill Aug. 17 that made several changes to provisions in the Student Discipline Act related to suspension, expulsion and mandatory reassignment.

Sen. Tony Vargas
Sen. Tony Vargas

LB515, introduced by Omaha Sen. Tony Vargas, required that a student be given an opportunity to complete any classwork and homework missed during a suspension, including examinations.

It also required school districts to reinstate a student when their expulsion has ended and accept non-duplicative, grade-appropriate credits earned by the student during the expulsion from certain accredited institutions.

Among other changes, the bill also created and modified several procedures for student discipline hearings.

The bill passed on a vote of 26-7 on Aug. 13.

In his veto message, Ricketts objected to a provision in the bill that he said increased the burden of proof on school districts when they discipline a student for engaging in the unlawful possession, selling or use of a controlled substance.

Another provision defining a personal injury caused by accident would have made it harder to discipline students who injure a teacher or another student, he said.

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