1997 Regular Session
By: Representatives Walker, Foster, Ellis, Robertson
House Bill 1236
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-3-83, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO CONDUCT A FEASIBILITY STUDY AND PILOT PROGRAM ON THE USE OF VIDEO CAMERAS IN THE CLASSROOM TO REDUCE DISCIPLINARY PROBLEMS AND FOR TEACHER DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES, AND TO AUTHORIZE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO USE VIDEO CAMERAS IN THE CLASSROOM TO MONITOR STUDENT DISCIPLINARY PROBLEMS; TO AUTHORIZE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO PAY REWARDS FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE CONFISCATION OF ILLEGAL FIREARMS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-3-83, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-3-83. (1) There is * * * established within the State Department of Education a school violence prevention grant program, available to all eligible public school districts, to assist in financing programs to fight school violence.
(2) Subject to the extent of appropriations available, the school violence prevention grant program shall offer any of the following specific preventive services, and other additional services appropriate to school violence prevention:
(a) Metal detectors;
(b) Video surveillance cameras and monitoring equipment for classrooms, school buildings and school buses; * * *
(c) Crisis management/action teams responding to school violence; and
(d) Violence prevention training, conflict resolution training, and other appropriate training designated by the State Department of Education for faculty and staff.
(3) Each local school district of this state may annually apply for up to Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) in school violence prevention grant funds subject to appropriations by the Legislature. In order to be eligible for such program, each local school board desiring to participate shall apply to the State Department of Education by May 31 before the beginning of the applicable fiscal year on forms provided by the department, and shall be required to establish a local school Violence Task Force to involve members of the community in the school violence prevention effort. The State Department of Education shall determine by July 1 of each succeeding year which local school districts have submitted approved applications for school violence prevention grants.
(4) As part of the school violence prevention grant program, the State Department of Education may conduct a pilot program to research the feasibility of using video camera equipment in the classroom to address the following:
(a) Determine if video cameras in the classroom reduces student disciplinary problems;
(b) Enable teachers to present clear and convincing evidence of a student's disruptive behavior to the student, the principal, the superintendent and the student's parents; and
(c) Enable teachers to review teaching performance and receive diagnostic feedback for developmental purposes.
The results of any such pilot program shall be reported to the Chairmen of the Education Committees in the House of Representatives and Senate by December 15 of the year following implementation of the pilot program. Any funds appropriated by the Legislature for the support of the pilot program shall be used only for the purchase of equipment and supplies necessary for implementation of the pilot program.
(5) Any local school district may use video camera equipment in classrooms for the purpose of monitoring school disciplinary problems.
SECTION 2. (1) Each school district in the state may pay a reward not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) to any person who provides information that leads to the confiscation by the school district or a law enforcement agency of any illegal firearm on public school property.
(2) Each school district shall establish a policy necessary to protect the confidentiality of any person who provides such information leading to the confiscation of an illegal firearm under this section.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.