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New Discipline Protections for Children Preschool Through Grade 2!
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Great news for preschoolers through grade 2 in NJ! Under a new law P.L.2016, c.45, signed by Governor Christie on 9/6/16, school districts and charter schools will no longer be permitted to suspend and/or expel students from preschool through 2nd grade, except under specific and limited circumstances. Students in kindergarten through 2nd grade will only be able to receive an out-of-school suspension when they have engaged in conduct that is violent or sexual in nature and endangers others. An expulsion (which means a loss of the right to a free public education) can only be imposed pursuant to the Zero Tolerance for Guns Act (N.J.S.A. 18A:37-7 through 12). Schools will no longer be permitted to suspend preschool students and can only expel a preschool student pursuant to the Zero Tolerance for Guns Act.

The law further requires school districts and charter schools to implement programs to identify and provide services and supports for students in preschool through 2nd grade who are having behavioral or disciplinary problems. These programs can be incorporated into the intervention and referral services programs that are already required.

The law provides it goes into effect the first full school year after enactment which is September 2017.
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