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Zero Tolerance Rules Force District School’s Harsh Stand on Shared Inhaler

February 25, 2012

Under Colorado law, four actions trigger automatic expulsion: sale of controlled drugs, serious assaults, robbery and bringing weapons to school, said Janelle Krueger, a Colorado Department of Education consultant in charge of the Expelled and At-Risk Student Grant Program.

 

 Beyond that, districts set their own discipline policies.

Lewis-Palmer’s policy doesn’t mandate expulsion for the infraction Alyssa and Breana committed. “There is an ability to make a distinction about the intent or the circumstances,” said district spokeswoman Robin Adair.

The Lewis-Palmer district as a whole is, by most measures, successful.

Serious discipline problems are uncommon. In 2009-10, the district recorded only 157 out-of-school suspensions. Out of about 5,000 students, only three were expelled that year.

Expulsions are “extremely rare,” Adair said. “Obviously, the best place for kids is to be in school. If we can keep them in school, that’s the first choice. We don’t take lightly the decision to remove a student from the classroom.”

Last week, Alyssa was back in school. Tim McKinney said he’s convinced that is because he advocated for her.

Breana wasn’t so lucky.

“I’m expelled,” she said last week. “They said I could go back next year.”

Read more: Zero-tolerance rules forced Colorado school’s harsh stand on shared inhaler – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_19997417#ixzz1nQWVPxUA
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