Lawmakers work on schools' zero tolerance policies

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida lawmakers want school districts to come up with some realistic "zero tolerance" policies so youngsters using plastic knives to spread peanut butter on bread don't wind up in the state's juvenile justice system.

Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, used that example Thursday before his proposal (SB 1540) won unanimous committee approval. The House is also considering similar legislation.

Wise's bill would prevent schools from reporting petty acts of misconduct and misdemeanors to law enforcement agencies, specifying guidelines for serious threats to school safety.

Wise noted that there are 155,000 youngsters now in the state's juvenile justice system and many as a result of some minor offense
at school.

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