States Give Teachers More Power to Kick Out Students Who Aren’t Following the Rules

States Give Teachers More Power to Kick Out Students Who Aren't Following the Rules

Several states are moving toward laws that would give teachers more power to pull a student out of class for bad behavior. However, some education experts warn that this could have bad effects on the students.

Last month, the Alabama State House passed a law that sets new rules for removing students from classes. This makes Alabama one of several states that have become stricter with students after a rise in behavior problems during the pandemic.

SB157, which is also known as the Teachers Bill of Rights, was passed by Alabama lawmakers and is now waiting for Gov. Kay Ivey to sign it. It will be in effect for the next school year after it is signed.

Before the law, educators were not in charge of suspending or removing students, but managers were.

In the past year, several states, including Virginia and West Virginia, have passed or proposed laws similar to Alabama’s that let teachers take out of the classroom students they think are being disruptive.

According to data from the Children’s Equity Project at Arizona State University, at least 40 states let kids be kicked out of school for being disrespectful or disruptive in some way in 2023.

Several education experts are worried that kicking students out of class as a form of discipline doesn’t get to the root cause of their bad behavior, adds to the “school-to-prison pipeline,” and has previously hurt Black students more than other students.

“What’s going on in Alabama is really in line with what a lot of states have been doing since the pandemic: getting stricter with their rules and giving teachers more freedom in the name of protecting teachers,” Richard Welsh, an associate professor of education and public policy at Vanderbilt University, told NewsNation.

They are “breaking point” as teachers

The Alabama Education Association, which is the state’s biggest teacher’s union, pushed for most of the legislation. The union, like other states, said that students have been verbally and physically abusive in the classroom because of disruptions and that school officials have not done enough to stop this.

The Alabama Reflector reports that member teachers told lawmakers they were “at a breaking point” and that disruptive kids were wasting “valuable instructional time.”

According to the news source, a student who quit because officials wouldn’t do anything attacked a teacher in the classroom.

A teacher told lawmakers, “I could tell you dozens of stories just like this one.”

The landscape of laws that keep people out

The study found that 151 bills about discipline were passed in 41 states between 2019 and 2022.

Several education experts told NewsNation that states have tried to roll back or have already done so on restorative justice policies to make room for harsher laws.

Schools all over the country have seen a rise in disruptive behavior in the classrooms since the pandemic. Teachers don’t know how to deal with these kids.

“Students had a hard time going back to school, and they missed a lot of important face-to-face time where they learned how to be in school, how to sit still, and how to deal with frustration,” Rachel M. Perera, a fellow at the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings Institute, said.

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