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Elementary schoolchildren in Missouri could get into as much trouble as ‘Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard’ did if they get into fights on the playground. A new statute may potentially turn such brawls into felonies punishable by up to four years in jail.
When Missouri students head back to the classroom in the new year, bullying and brawling could... ...land kids in juvenile detention centers
on January 1, third-degree assault and cases of harassment where the victim suffers “emotional distress” will become class E felonies. Schools will be required to report harassment, along with certain other offenses, to local law enforcement
Student(s) who are caught fighting in school, bus or on school grounds may now be charged with a felony (no matter the age or grade level)
Ferguson-Florissant Superintendent Joseph Davis warned that a simple schoolyard spat could have lifelong consequences for students in a video announcement
just a fist fight anymore could definitely mean a felony," Sikeston Department of Public Safety Sergeant Jon Broom told KFVS
Critics have decried the potential impact on students, arguing that Missouri is criminalizing children’s behavior and enlarging the so-called “school-to-prison pipeline,”
The new law does not make exceptions based on age.
originally posted by: Urantia1111
a reply to: trollz
Teachers and administrators are going to love this. They are some of the most immature and petty people out there and will simply relish in calling the cops on students to have them prosecuted for this.
The changes stem from legislation passed in 2014 that also increases maximum fines for felonies and misdemeanors and creates a fourth degree of assault. The changes do not mention schools, and it’s unclear how schools and law enforcement will interpret them. Many school administrators were learning about the changes this week.
Starting Jan. 1, third-degree assault and some cases of harassment will become class E felonies. Harassment will be a felony, rather than a misdemeanor, if the victim suffers “emotional distress” from an act committed with that purpose. The state considers harassment to be a form of school bullying, and harassment is among the offenses school districts are technically required to report to local law enforcement.
Also under the new law, a person who “knowingly causes physical injury to another person” will have committed the felony of third-degree assault.
At least two area school districts, Hazelwood and Ferguson-Florissant, have already interpreted that definition to mean that any student, no matter their age, who gets in a fight can be charged with a felony.
originally posted by: pirhanna
a reply to: trollz
That is too far with that law, but assault should be treated as assault. You cant let some kids just go around assaulting others.