Bill Summary for H 247 (2021-2022)

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Summary date: 

Mar 9 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 247 (Public) Filed Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Intro. by Torbett.

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Bill summary

Substantively identical to H 240, filed 3/8/21.

Amends GS 115C-390.1, which sets out the defined terms used in Article 27, which governs discipline in elementary and secondary education. Adds the defined term public school unit board (board), defining the term to mean the governing entity of a public school unit. Expands the Article to govern public school unit boards, rather than local boards of education. Makes conforming changes to the following defined terms: alternative education services; educational property; principal; school personnel; and superintendent. Makes conforming changes throughout the Article to reflect the change in the Article's scope to include public school unit boards.

Amends GS 115C-390.2(a), which requires the adoption of student conduct policies and establishing procedures for school officials to follow when disciplining students. Adds a new requirement for boards to consult with teachers, school-based administrators, parents, and local law enforcement agencies in adopting their policies and establishing their procedures. Additionally requires boards to review current federal guidance prior to adopting their policies. Makes the changes to subsection (a) applicable to material changes to policies existing on July 1, 2021, or new policies adopted on or after July 1, 2021.

Makes changes to the remainder of GS 115C-390.2 as follows. Requires each board to provide the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) with a copy of its most up-to-date student discipline by September 1. Eliminates existing language that includes examples of conduct that would not be deemed to be a serious violation, including the use of inappropriate or disrespectful language, noncompliance with a staff directive, dress code violations, and minor physical altercations that do not involve weapons or injury. Adds to the policies, procedures and rules each board must publish and make available to each student and his or her parent at the beginning of each school year and upon request, to include the full range of responses to violations of disciplinary rules, including responses that do not remove a student from the classroom or school building. Authorizes boards to require students and parents or guardians to sign an acknowledgement that they have received a copy of the policies, procedures, and rules. Specifies that neither the statute nor GS Chapter 115C regulates a board's discretion to devise, impose, and enforce personal appearance codes. 

Applies beginning with the 2021-22 school year.