“Teacher’s Discipline Act”
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF)- The “Teacher’s Discipline Act”, a bill that authorizes teachers to remove students from their classroom for good, is receiving mixed reviews.
“Once a student gets into the cycle of school discipline, it’s really hard to break out of that” said Hamilton County teacher Aaron Fowles.
Fowles explained to News 12 that Tennessee legislators should focus more on funding schools and laws related strictly on discipline are trivial at best.
“That’s why it’s important that the implementation recognizes that it is not a school to prison pipeline issue. That we don’t see our students of color being excessively focused on” president of Hamilton County’s education association Jeanette Omarkhail.
While Omarkhail agrees with Fowles about improved funding, she supports the bill nevertheless.
“Sometimes you have personality conflicts or there are other issues going in the classroom” said Omarkhail. “The major thing that we have to look at in the classroom is what does the student need.”
But what’s next for the students removed?
“Directly what I’ve asked is are we talking about them out on the street” said Representative Yusuf Hakeem.
The legislation requires students kicked out of the classroom to attend alternate schools located on sites separate from their previous school.
Just one of the handful of concerns, including the potential volume of students removed, that Representative Hakeem is receiving.
“I think it would be more beneficial if we had more counselors” said Rep. Hakeem.
Fowles has yet another suggestion.
“Listening to the voices of educators. Inviting educators into the committees when you’re talking about education bills.”
Rep. Hakeem confirmed he will not support the bill as it will come before the General Assembly in the coming weeks.
Hamilton County already has a method of discipline similar to the bill but teachers must exhaust a series of options before removing their students.
News 12 also reached out to the Cleveland City school district for comment but we have not received a response at this time.