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Education Board Deadlocks On Student Conduct Policy

8th graders work on a math assignment at Covert Public Schools
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

(MPRN-Lansing) The Michigan State Board of Education deadlocked along party lines Tuesday on a model student code of conduct. The major issue was protecting students from discrimination based on their gender identity. 

Republicans voted against the policy and gender identity protections. Democrats were for it. The policy would not be mandatory, but would have offered guidance to schools trying to comply with a new state law.It gives school officials more flexibility in disciplining students than the former “zero tolerance” standard.

Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Whiston says the state Department of Education will go back to work on a model policy. He says schools will have to develop their own policies in the mean time.

“But certainly the state board on these types of issues want to provide guidance, as well. So we’ll come back with something.”

A Republican on the board said the model policy would invite a legal challenge.

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