An Act Regarding School Discipline for Maine's Youngest Students
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §1001, sub-§8-A, ¶B, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 614, §3, is amended by amending subparagraph (2) to read:
(2) The student has the right to an attorney or other representation . A student who is eligible for free or reduced-price meals under section 6602, subsection 1, paragraph A is entitled to an attorney or other representation, including, but not limited to, an advocate for the developmentally disabled, at state expense; and
Sec. 2. 20-A MRSA §1001, sub-§9, as amended by PL 2017, c. 407, Pt. A, §57, is further amended to read:
A student may be readmitted on satisfactory evidence that the behavior that was the cause of the student being expelled will not likely recur. The school board may authorize the principal to suspend students up to a maximum of 10 days for infractions of school rules , except that a school board may not authorize a principal to suspend a student who is enrolled in grade 5 or below except as provided under subsection 9-A. In addition to other powers and duties under this subsection, the school board may develop a policy requiring a student who is in violation of school substance use or possession rules to participate in substance use disorder services as provided in section 6606. Nothing in this subsection or subsection 9-C prevents a school board from providing educational services in an alternative setting to a student who has been expelled.
Sec. 3. 20-A MRSA §1001, sub-§15, as amended by PL 2011, c. 659, §2, is further amended to read:
The school board is responsible for ensuring that school officials inform students, parents and community members of the student code of conduct.
This bill provides that a student code of conduct may not prescribe suspension, expulsion or the withholding of recess as a consequence of a violation of the student code of conduct by any student enrolled in grade 5 or below except as provided under the federal Gun-Free Schools Act. The bill also provides that any student enrolled in grade 6 or above who is eligible for free or reduced-price school meals is entitled to representation at state expense during an expulsion proceeding.