This story was originally published by Chalkbeat Colorado. More in chalkbeat.org.
Written by Melanie Asmar and Jason Gonzalez Colorado chalk
Thousands of Colorado students are referred to law enforcement every year by principals, teachers, and other school personnel, and even more students are being stopped or stopped by the police.
Presenting a bill in the state legislature Last month It would have drastically reduced those types of interactions between students and the police, resulting in what is known as the pipeline leak from the school into the prison. But teachers, school district officials, and law enforcement agencies all raised their concerns, with even the most powerful opponents saying the bill would do so. Legalize crime.
On Tuesday, the day before the bill was due to hold a first hearing in the legislature, the bill’s sponsors announced that they would kill the legislation.
“After many conversations with teachers and law enforcement, we believe there is no way forward,” the state sponsors Senator said. Janet Buckner of Aurora and Representative Leslie Herod of Denver, both Democrats, said in an emailed statement. “While we were disappointed by the contentious and imprecise rhetoric about this law, we remain committed to raising the voices of students and families who have faced the consequences of harsh disciplinary tactics.”
Students of color are more likely to face harsh discipline in school than white students, as state data shows that black students are disproportionately exposed to detention.
Senate Law 182 would have prevented all students from being referred to the police, having tickets issued, or being arrested for misdemeanors, minor infractions, and municipal law violations. This includes things like disorderly behavior, tobacco and alcohol abuse, and marijuana possession. Police could still be involved if a student poses an imminent threat of serious bodily harm to another person or is suspected of having committed a crime.