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OH passes legislation to address student suicide, suspensions, behavior

July 8, 2018, Dayton, OH, WHIO-TV, Laws will change Ohio school safety, behavior, suspensions Students and teachers will be operating under some new guidelines beginning this fall because the state legislature recently passed a host of measures aimed at balancing school safety techniques with the state’s interest in getting all children the best education possible. The state legislature has recently passed new laws that would require require that schools do more to limit the number of its youngest students who are suspended as punishment for misbehavior. Other bills require teachers to be trained on student suicide prevention and would increase training for school resource officers…. Legislation was passed to mandate staff training on student behavior and to better prepare resource officers for school safety issues. … House Bill 318, now headed to Gov. John Kasich for his signature, prohibits out-of-school suspensions or expulsions for pre-K to third-grade students who commit minor offenses, starting in the 2021-2022 school year. Violent offenses could still be handled via expulsion…. “If you have second-graders talking back continually, and they’re disrupting other students, (the teacher may) recommend that the student is suspended so they can correct their behavior,” Smith said. “Well, this bill puts more emphasis on the school to assist and … keep them in school and continue learning.”… In-school suspensions are a common method to walk that line, and HB 318 requires such suspensions to be served in a supervised “learning environment.” Smith said that will require a change, because in many schools, young students on suspension work in a room near the main office with oversight from an assistant principal, counselor or secretary who is also doing other work. House Bill 502, which steps up training requirements for educators in how to identify students at risk of suicide, passed the House but still needs to go through the Senate. Teachers, and others would be required to actually attend the training once every two years. Current law only requires that schools offer training once every five years….

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