Parents concerned about Mo. law that makes fighting and bullying - KMOV.com

Parents concerned about Mo. law that makes fighting and bullying in schools a felony

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Many parents call it the school pipeline to prison law. If a student gets in a fight or gets in trouble for bullying, they could now be arrested and potentially face felony charges.

Parents say the new law is murky. They want to get in front of superintendents of their school districts and get more information. Parents say the the code of conduct for school administrators and police officers in schools needs to be clearly spelled out. 

"If you are putting our kids in prison and you are doing things that will stop them from progressing, you are ruining their lives before they even get started," says parent Keena Smith. 

She's a mom to three boys, ages 8, 15, and 17, and is one of many parents scratching their heads about a new Missouri law.  It states if a student gets in a fight or gets in trouble for bullying they could now be arrested and face felony charges. It's important to point out that if the students are under 17, prison is not an option unless they stand trial as an adult. 

"I think the interpretation, what we read, kind of left us in a gray area. We kind of are confused on what it actually meant," says Smith. 

That's what led people to a rally Monday night. 

Parents met with other parents and members of the community to get a game plan going so clarity is reached. 

"We need to go back to our legislatures and have this conversation and let them know its not okay to charge our kids with felonies. It is not. We are going to break that school to prison pipeline," says Smith.  

News 4 reached out to the sponsor of the bill, he wasn't available for comment. 

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