Kindergartners will be the first students to be required to wear uniforms in Kansas City schools this fall. It’s the first step in a dress code for all students. District spokesman David Smith says the move reduces stress on everyone. He says for children, its competition over the clothes the wear and for parents, a money headache. The school board is hoping the dress code will demonstrate the district is serious about returning to the basics of education. Students must wear tan, khaki, or blue pants, skirts, or shirt, and white or navy blue collared or turtleneck shirts.
Missouri’s Safe School’s Act today got a booster shot. Governor Carnahan signed a bill (SB 944) tacking on new measures to the 1996 legislation. The bill expands gun-free zones to school busses and after-school activities. It also lays down heavier penalties for things like bomb threats. It increases reporting requirements to police, even provides some funding for suicide prevention programs. House sponsor Phil Smith says it takes care of some things they didn’t foresee 4 years ago.
A Jefferson City teenager faces several years in prison for phoning in a bomb threat to her high school. Christina Hedges, 17, of Jefferson City has pleaded guilty to threatening Jefferson City High School last January. Assistant Cole County Prosecutor Maureen Monaghan says Christina gave a full confession. She could get 5 years in prison when she’s sentenced later this year.
A felony charge has been filed against a Webster Groves high school student accused of telling another student he wanted to blow up the school. The student, who is 17, also is accused of leaving chemicals in a bathroom that could have produced a semitoxic gas if they’d been mixed. He’s being held in the county jail.
The state Senate goes after some people who might really be responsible for those situations. The school safety bill advanced this week in the state Senate expands the definition of school property so students will be prohibited from taking weapons anywhere NEAR a school, not just into it. The bill also creates the crime of trespassing on a bus and gives more authority to investigate and prosecute bomb threats. St. Charles Senator Steve Ehlmann has added a provision making parents responsible if a child takes a gun to class. Children who take weapons to school can be suspended for as much as a year. But under present law, there’s little that can be done to parents. Ehlmann suggests they be charged with child endangerment, a charge that could mean a year in jail and a thousand-dollar fine. He says that if he were a judge he’d go with the fine–because it doesn’t do much good to take a parent who has done a poor job of parenting anyway, and remove them from the family for a year.
A student at Christian Schools of Springfield has been arrested after a classmate told the school principal he was threatening to blow up the school and drag a teacher behind a car. The student is a high school junior. He’s been released in the custody of his mother.
A high school hazing incident has resulted in a Pineville high school student being put on probation and ordered into counseling. The boy has pleaded guilty., He’s one of four students charged in the incident. Charges against two of them have been dropped because they’ve left the state. The fourth student, Travis Cox, has been charged as an adult and faces a hearing in April. The four students were suspended indenfinitely from school after the incident was reported.