The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:
Teachers and schools will have more tools for addressing disruptive student behavior, if a bill that passed the Senate becomes law.
Under SF 2360, there will be new guidelines for handling violent behavior in classrooms, including standards for “classroom clears,” a technique used to calm a disruptive student by removing all other students from the classroom.
The legislation does the following:
- Sets up a competitive grant program that will help schools create therapeutic classrooms to provide intensive help for students who need it. Therapeutic classrooms are designed to be short-term breaks for students to “reset” and develop new coping strategies before returning to their regular classroom. Schools may collaborate or partner with local nonprofits and mental health agencies to establish a regional therapeutic classroom.
- Provides funding to train educators on how to manage classroom disruptions and address student behavior.
- Increases job and whistleblower protections for teachers who report violence and personal attacks to school administrators and the police.
New information and data will be collected from schools so that we can see how often incidents of violence and classroom clears occur. This will help us continue to make improvements that ensure safe and productive learning environments for all Iowa students.
SF 2360 is a step toward fixing what has become an overwhelming concern for our schools.