Legislation

Click here for video (includes kids and their stories) explaining why we need to eliminate zero tolerance, truancy, and chronic absenteeism in Michigan

Current legislative activity: 

Truancy Bills (as voted on by the Families, Seniors and Human Services committee): 

Senate Bill 103
Senate Bill 104
Senate Bill 105

Senate Bill 106

Truancy FAQ
Truancy Package proposal
Hon. Dorene S. Allen Senate Testimony March 2017
Hon. Dorene S. Allen Senate Testimony April 2016
Hon. Dorene S. Allen Senate Testimony December 2014

Proposed letter to Legislators
Sample email letter to Families, Seniors and Human Service Committee from County Team member
Sample email letter to sponsoring Senator from County Team member

 Zero Tolerance Bills signed by the Governor on 12/12/2016 at 8pm!!! Here are the zero tolerance bills which
 were enacted into law – effective date 8/1/2017: 

House Bill 5618
House Bill 5619
House Bill 5620
House Bill 5621
House Bill 5693
House Bill 5694
House Bill 5695
Zero Tolerance Legislative Bill Analysis (As Enacted

Rebuttable Presumption explained
Hon. Dorene S. Allen Senate Testimony September 2016

Zero Tolerance FAQ
Zero Tolerance Package proposal
Federal Law regarding Zero Tolerance (Currently)
Michigan Law regarding Zero Tolerance (Currently)
Exceptions, definitions, and goals of current Michigan Zero Tolerance Laws 

Our Michigan School-Justice Partnership group is an integral part of the proposed changes.  While we were hoping to have a state-wide definition of truancy for the Summit in September 2013, we  didn’t make it to the final phases in time.   As it turned out, however, this was a good thing.  All of the county plans that were submitted to address truancy issues for each particular county and the feedback obtained during our regional forums in May and June had the impact of informing the proposed amendments. In addition, it gave us a chance to do a 50 state comparison survey. 

Truancy bills: 

  • Adds graduated interventions for repeatedly absent and truant children
  • Adds definitions for “truancy”, “chronic absenteeism”, and “tardy”, etc. 
  • Adds strong emphasis on restorative justice
  • Adds/modifies reporting requirements at state level

Zero tolerance law changes, effective August 1, 2017: 

  • Removes mandatory expulsions for physical assault against another pupil, assault against school employee, volunteer, or contractor, possession of a dangerous weapon (other than a firearm), arson and criminal sexual conduct
  • Adds mandatory requirement to look at exceptions when weapon expulsion
  • Adds considerations before suspension or expulsion occurs
  • Adds definitions for  “expulsions”, “suspensions”, “willful”, and “restorative justice”, etc.
  • Adds strong emphasis on restorative justice

Please note: the zero tolerance law changes do not take away the ability for a school to suspend or expel a student and but actually give the discretion for expulsion back to the school authorities. There are certainly still events that lead to a need for suspension and expulsion. However, right now current law requires expulsion for certain student behavior with absolutely no exceptions. Our changes allow the local school in August 2017 to look at each situation and decided based on the specific child and circumstances rather than having children being expelled for reasons the original legislation had never intended. These changes give the decision-making discretion back to each local school.

If you have any questions or concerns or would like additional information or someone to come speak to your group, please contact Angela Cole,  at angela@school2prison.com or (989)513-1260.