S.B. 2270

By: Gallegos

Public Education

Committee Report (Unamended)






Many students are being disproportionately disciplined and given harsh or irrational punishments as a result of "zero tolerance" discipline policies adopted by school districts.  Currently, Texas law authorizes, but does not require, a school district, in making decisions about student suspensions, removals, or expulsions, to consider mitigating factors such as self-defense, intent or lack of intent at the time of the incident, a student's disciplinary history, or a disability that substantially impairs the student's capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of certain conduct.   


S.B. 2270 requires a school district's student code of conduct to state that mitigating factors will be considered by the school district and district schools in certain decisions concerning student discipline.



It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.



S.B. 2270 amends the Education Code to require a school district's student code of conduct to specify that consideration will be given to certain mitigating factors, rather than to specify whether consideration is given, in each decision concerning a student's suspension, removal to a disciplinary alternative education program, or expulsion.  The bill extends the requirement to have the student code of conduct specify that consideration will be given to those factors also in a decision concerning a student's placement in a juvenile justice alternative education program and to specify that such consideration will be given in each decision concerning such disciplinary actions regardless of whether the decision concerns a mandatory or discretionary action.


S.B. 2270 makes its provisions applicable beginning with the 2009-2010 school year.



On passage, or, if the act does not receive the necessary vote, the act takes effect September 1, 2009.