Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: January 5, 2017
Sen. Ron Sharp
Sharp files bill to better protect school
employees and volunteers from student violence
Sharp filed legislation Wednesday to ensure more Oklahoma teachers
and other school employees who volunteer at school functions are
protected from student violence and threats. Senate Bill 81 will
add third, fourth and fifth grade students to the list of those
who will be subject to out-of-school suspension if they are violent
towards school personnel.
“School employees’ hands are tied when it comes to disciplining
students. They have very few ways to discipline unruly students
and disciplinary problems are occurring at a younger age every year,”
said Sharp. “I want to thank the Professional Oklahoma Educators
for bringing this issue to my attention and helping with the drafting
of this bill.”
Under SB 81, any third through twelfth grade students who assault,
attempt to cause physical bodily injury, or act in a manner that
could reasonably cause bodily injury to an education employee or
a person who is volunteering for the school would be subject to
SB 81 was requested by the Professional Oklahoma Educators (POE).
The organization’s executive director, Ginger Tinney, said
the change is necessary to protect school employees especially teachers.
“Several incidents in Oklahoma schools have occurred in which
teachers have been physically harmed by children in the 3rd and
4th grades. The existing teacher public safety law currently applies
to children in the 6th through 12th grades,” said Tinney.
“Professional Oklahoma Educators is, therefore, requesting
that this law be modified to apply to 3rd through 12th graders.
It is imperative for the State of Oklahoma to provide a safe working
environment for teachers.”
Last session, Sen. Sharp passed SB 911, which allows boards of education
to create policies that allow for alternatives to suspensions for
parents who are opposed to that form of discipline. Schools can
instead require in-school service or some other punishment agreed
to by the district and parent.
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