The idea isn't to let kids off the hook for misbehaving, but to make sure that only the most serious cases end up being handled by law enforcement.
SB 46 would require mandatory expulsion and police involvement only in cases involving firearms in schools.
That punishment has been required for far less according to the bill's sponsors.
Sen. Linda Newell (D-Littleton) pointed to a case involving a child who had "a butter knife in his backpack because his mother wanted to see him spread some peanut butter on his apple."
"In my district, there was a case when an eleven year old child, [who] drew some stick figures and he ended up getting arrested," Rep. Libby Szabol (R-Arvada) said.
The sponsors said 100,000 cases had been referred to police by Colorado schools over the past 10 years.
As an example of a successful alternative, lawmakers heard from Brandon Garcia, who got into a fight while he was a freshman at North High School in Denver.
No one was seriously hurt, but police did get involved.
"I was going to get punished with a two-week suspension, a police ticket for the fight and possibly court," Garcia said.
Instead, his school had an alternative called "restorative justice." Garcia says he might not have graduated without it.
He had to own up to what he did by facing the other people involved, keep his grades up, and not get into any more fights.
"Whatever we're willing to do to keep students in school and out of the streets is a better option than kicking them out for minor issues at school," Garcia said.
Most schools don't have such a program, but the bill sponsors want to see this type of treatment spread.
Under SB 46, districts would get to decide when to get police involved for cases that don't involve firearms.
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