LINCOLN, NE — Three years ago, veteran North Platte physical education teacher Mark Woodhead nearly lost his job over how he handled a disruptive third-grader.
He kept his position only through strong community support and a 4-2 vote by the North Platte school board.
But State Sen. Mike Groene of North Platte doesn’t believe Woodhead or other teachers should be threatened with firing for trying to maintain discipline in their classrooms.
He introduced a proposal Wednesday that seeks to protect teachers and school administrators who are dealing with violent or unruly students.
“We’ve got to support the teachers so they can have control of the classroom,” Groene said. “I hear from teachers all the time now that students have no boundaries.”
Legislative Bill 595 would allow teachers or administrators to use physical force or physical restraint to subdue violent students. Teachers or administrators could use physical restraint on students who are damaging school property.
Neither action would be considered corporal punishment under the bill. Current state law prohibits corporal punishment in Nebraska schools.
In addition, the bill would bar any type of legal action or administrative discipline against teachers using physical means to deal with students.