Senate Passes School Safety Legislation

Martin J. Golden

March 07, 2006

Brooklyn- Senator Marty Golden (R-C, 22nd District), a former New York City Police Officer and member of the Senate Education Committee, joined with his colleagues in passing legislation (S.3678), sponsored by Senator Stephen Saland (R-C, Poughkeepsie), that would allow violent or disruptive students to be transferred for disciplinary reasons into a different educational setting that would benefit both them and their classmates.

"This legislation would permit school officials to transfer violent or severely disruptive students as an alternative disciplinary measure, while also putting safeguards in place that would give the parents of a disruptive student the opportunity for a fair hearing," said Senator Golden. "Passage of this legislation leaves schools with more choices to help the disruptive student move to a more suitable location, while providing all students with an environment more conducive to learning."

"Parents have a reasonable right to expect that their children will be kept safe and protected while at school," Senator Marty Golden continued, "Violent and disruptive students pose a threat to the health and safety of students, as well as to teachers and other school authorities, and that risk cannot be tolerated. This bill will allow school officials to maintain a safe and secure environment for everyone within our schools."

Since the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act was enacted in 2001, many schools have developed alternative educational methods and sites to deal with disruptive students. However, existing law does not allow for disruptive students to be transferred to other schools because of disciplinary reasons. Under present law, schools may only give disruptive students a series of suspensions. This legislation would provide schools with an alternative to suspension.

Under the bill, the School Board, the Superintendent of Schools, or the principal of a school would be authorized to involuntarily transfer violent and disruptive students to a more appropriate educational setting in another school. The bill was sent to the Assembly.