Nebraska Lawmakers Fail To Push Bill Allowing Physical Force Against Violent Students

By Olivia Etienne, Parent Herald April 26, 10:28 pm
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Nebraskan lawmaker, Mike Groene, pushed for Legislative Bill 595 to be passed in order to allow physical force against violent students. PICTURED: Two students and a teacher during a fight.
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Nebraskan conservative lawmakers lobbied to legalize the use of force in disciplining students but failed to progress the provision. The bill's proponent argued that the initiative was needed more than ever because Nebraskan schools were plagued with violent and unruly students.

Sen. Mike Groene proposed the bill that would permit teachers and school administrators to facilitate physical restraint for disruptive students, per KETV. Formally known as Legislative Bill 595 (LB 595), it also allowed unruly students to be removed from class to maintain a harmonious environment at school.

Lawmakers debated over the need of LB 595 this week. Sen. Groene collected 23 votes to halt LB 595 to be sent back to the Education Committee, however, he still needed at least 33 votes to stop the filibuster, according to Omaha-World Herald.

The report said the bill lacked "no" votes, hence posting doubts on the initiative's strength. The debate on LB 595 ended with no vote to advance its passing.

Sen. Groene cited anecdotes from school authorities in Nebraska also pushing for LB 595 to be passed. Former president of Omaha Education Association, Chris Proulx, said that the provision was "long overdue and very necessary."

Proulx pushed for the provision after he felt demoralized in sending a student to the office without appearing to learn from his mistake. The student returned after a few minutes with a taunting smile aimed at the professor.

LB 595 was proposed not only for the protection of school administrators but for other students' welfare as well. Unruly students who turn violent against fellow students could be physically restricted until they stop threatening or injuring the other party.

Opponents of the bill said the need to discipline a student is understandably necessary, however, the use of physical force is something to be questioned. Further, LB 595 was questioned if it was the best solution for violent students.

Former teacher and state senator Lynne Waltz noted that LB 595 could only aggravate the situation as it doesn't address the root cause of the problem. Waltz added that behavioral and social health might be compromised all the more because of the bill.

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