MEDIA RELEASE For Immediate Release: April 27, 2012
Smarter Discipline (SB 46) bill passes in Colorado Senate
Will bring common sense back to discipline while ensuring safe schools
DENVER – The Colorado Senate passed Senate Bill 46 – the smarter school discipline bill – with an overwhelming bipartisan 32-3 vote this morning.
“Students need to be in school learning, not wasting the time and resources of the law enforcement system,” said Ricardo Martinez, Co-Executive Director of Padres & Jóvenes Unidos. “We are pleased the Senators recognized that existing zero tolerance discipline policies don’t give school administrators the discretion to use common sense when dealing with student behavior problem.”
Youth members of Padres y Jóvenes Unidos have been a driving force for school discipline reform since the fall of 2010, when they began researching state laws and district policies, educating fellow students around the state and testifying before the task force and in other venues. They continue to be a presence at the Capitol to promote smarter discipline for safe schools.
“This bill will keep 10,000 kids a year out of the juvenile justice system for minor misbehavior,” said Dionna Hudson, a leader of Jóvenes Unidos and student at Denver’s South High School. “I’m relieved that legislators understand that students should stay in school.”
The bill will advance to the House of Representatives, where Rep. B.J. Nikkel is the primary sponsor.
Padres & Jóvenes Unidos is a multi-issue organization led by people of color who work for educational excellence, racial justice for youth, immigrant rights and quality healthcare for all.