Photo credit: Travel Stock / Shutterstock.com

Photo credit: Travel Stock / Shutterstock.com

According to the U.S. Department of Education, Missouri is ranked in the top three states, behind Florida and Mississippi, for the highest number of elementary school suspensions from 2011 to 2012. Since then, physical altercations have drastically increased.

In an effort to prevent classroom fights in the future, the Midwestern state recently passed legislation that would classify the behavior as Class E and D felonies. The new bill specifies that regardless of age if students are caught on school grounds as a participant in a physical altercation or instigating unruly activity, they are liable to be criminally charged and receive potential jail time.

Missouri’s Hazelwood School District sent out an alarming notice to parents via their website notifying of the new changes in policy. Bypassing the options of a misdemeanor, families were informed the fighting will soon distinguish as third- and fourth-degree assaults.

“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), if this assault is witnessed by one of the School Resource Officers/police officers (SRO) or if the SRO/local law enforcement officials have to intervene.”

Erica Ussery, a former student of Hazelwood Central High School and now a parent of a child attending school in the same district has expressed her concerns to Fox News.

“Are we really trying to throw these kids’ futures away by giving them a felony charge for something they do in their adolescence, giving them an adult charge when we can do something else to get in front of the situation?” she said.

Despite the outrage by Ussery and other parents in the district baffled by the harsh laws put in place, the new ruling will take effect Jan 1, 2017.

Lala Martinez

I'm a forward thinking millennial with a passion for writing and reporting all things entertainment.

  • Elad Gross

    This article is inaccurate.

    The new law is actually the same as the old law. Today, fighting at school is a felony. The new law does not change anything for kids. Misdemeanor assault still exists. And kids who are in trouble with the law go to the juvenile system before they can ever be charged with a felony in adult court. Very, very few kids are subject to felony charges.

    If the law is not changing, why have two St. Louis area school districts put out a warning that kids can be charged with a felony? I’m trying to work with both of them now to fix the mistake, but I’m also worried (with others) that these districts may use the new law (which is the same as the old!) as an excuse to subject more kids to the juvenile system. That would be unfair and unacceptable!

    If you’re in the St. Louis area, we’ll be meeting to discuss all of this on Thursday, December 29, at 6:00 PM.
    2nd Presbyterian Church
    4501 Westminster Pl 63108
    3rd Floor

    You can read our legal analysis of this law on the Education Exchange Corps blog here: http://edexco.blogspot.com/2016/12/new-missouri-criminal-code-will-not.html

    • Qkirk

      Good for you for pulling this discussion together. Not in Missouri but parents in that district should be attending this meeting in full force. Fight the good fight and continued blessings to you.

  • Jeannette Harkin

    Thank God…I would think all parents would be grateful for this. Unless you know your child is an instigator and might be one of the problems

    • dick green

      Good point. Here’s an easy way to tell if your child is an instigator or might be a felon: Is your child a worthless black bitch/bastard? Then yes, they are. Are they white? Then they are okay. They just have issues they need to work through. YOU’RE WELCOME NIGGERS! Hope that helps.

  • dick green

    A step in the right direction but do we really need the courts tied up even worse? I would propose a more sensible solution would be to simply lock up all negroes for life at two weeks of age. They have most likely commited multiple felonies by then and if they haven’t it’s just because they were being lazy. Just lock them up anyway. Best not to take any chances.