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Eye On Boise

Senator wants to ban public school attendance for kids with violent misdemeanor or felony records

Any Idaho school child who has been convicted of a violent misdemeanor or felony would be banned from enrollment in the state’s public schools, under legislation introduced in the Senate Education Committee this afternoon at the behest of Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls. Heider said he was responding to an incident in his district in which two young felons returned from prison to a school in his district, and proceeded to start gangs, sell drugs, and impregnate two high school girls. “And the parents of those two young women came to us” to request legislation, Heider told the committee. “It’s a simple bill, and yet I think an important one to protect the innocence of students in the high schools around our state.”

Without discussion, the committee voted to introduce the bill. Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, said after the meeting that he likely will schedule a hearing on the bill. “I understand his concern about exposing vulnerable children to hardened criminals,” Goedde said.

The bill says school boards “shall deny enrollment or attendance, by expulsion, at any of its schools” to such students. It makes no exception for alternative schools.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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