Revised Student Conduct Code offers alternatives to suspensions and expulsions for less serious offenses

The State Board of Education (SBE) has unanimously approved the Model Code of Student Conduct 2014. (It's at the Michigan Department of Education website. SBE held several hearings before deciding on a revised Code that would ensure students were educated in a "safe and supportive environment that fosters academic success and healthy development." The current Student Conduct Code dates back to July 2001.

SBE has been encouraging districts to review their existing zero tolerance policies and reduce the number of students expelled or suspended from school for less serious disciplinary issues. SBE recommends the use of alternative strategies that would address social learning, integrating pro-social development practices, and collecting and using data to evaluate current disciplinary policies.

The Code spells out the responsibilities of students, parents and educators in promoting good behavior and identifies those serious offenses which should require suspension or expulsion.

At the same time SBE approved the new policy, Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell) introduced legislation which calls for the expulsion of any student who threatens to kill a teacher or any other public school employee. Read more about the legislation in the Aug. 22 edition of Capitol Comments. Sign up to receive the weekly newsletter detailing current legislation and political news affecting public education and public school employees at