Cherry Creek updates discipline policy after zero-tolerance spat


AURORA | The first Cherry Creek School Board of Education meeting of the 2012-13 school year included the formal dedication of a new elementary school and revisions to the district’s discipline policies.

The board held its regular meeting Aug. 13 at the new Black Forest Hills elementary building in the Tallyn’s Reach neighborhood of southeast Aurora. The board dedicated the new $15.4 million building (funded as part of the 2008 bond initiative) with a new plaque.

During the board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Eric Flor also detailed new revisions to the district’s discipline policies, updates that stemmed from new state legislation. According to district spokeswoman Tustin Amole, the amended policies affords districts statewide more discretion in regards to expulsion and discipline when it comes to weapons and other issues.

The amendments passed by the state Legislature last spring stemmed in part from the expulsion of a Cherokee Trail High School student in a Young Marines Group who had drill rifles in her vehicle at the campus in southeast Aurora. Amole said that under the state law as it then existed, the district was forced to expel the student for having a drill rifle in her car.

“State law required us to expel her … The Legislature looked at that and said that’s not what we intended with that law,” Amole said. “(They) gave us more discretion.”

The law offers districts more say in cases involving weapons, Amole added. For example, under the old law, a 6-year-old who brought a knife longer than 3 inches to school in a lunchbox would have to be expelled. Now, the district can weigh different factors like intent and other circumstances in their decision.

“We can take that into consideration,” Amole said. “We can also take into consideration that student’s history.”

The board’s next meeting is slated for 7 p.m. on Sept. 10 at Campus Middle School; 4785 S. Dayton St in Greenwood Village.

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