Delegate: "Restore Respect at School"
Del. Gerron S. Levi, a Prince George's County Democrat, has introduced four bills that collectively she calls "The Campaign to Restore Respect at School." Under HB 630, parents and guardians whose children have been repeatedly suspended or chronically absent would lose access to some state tax benefits if they do not attend teacher conferences and make use of community services. HB 631 would mandate jail time for assaulting a teacher, principal, school bus driver or other school personnel. HB 632 would require that all teachers receive some classroom management training before teaching in a Maryland classroom, whether they're educated in the state or not. And HB 633 would require Maryland employers to provide four hours per year of leave -- paid or unpaid -- for parents and guardians to attend discipline-related teacher conferences.
Levi is a longtime proponent of parents and students taking responsibility for their actions. She says this legislation is in response to data showing that discipline issues are driving teachers and principals from the state's most challenging schools. A survey of departing Prince George's teachers found student discipline the No. 1 reason for leaving.
Guess who Levi wants to testify at a hearing for her legislation? Jolita Berry.