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South Louisiana LEE Members testify to stop corporal punishment for special needs students

From left to right: Dadrius Lanus, LA Representative Franklin Foil, Kristen Smith and Allan Rogers

LEE members in South Louisiana are working hard to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline in the Bayou State, which has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world.

On May 25, 2017, LEE members Dadrius Lanus, Kristen Smith and Allan Rogers testified before the Louisiana Senate Education Committee on HB79, a bill that abolishes corporal punishment for students with exceptionalities. This bill is substantial as advocates say it will provide equity for the neediest students in Louisiana’s schools by eliminating a behavioral intervention long shown to do more harm than good.

HB79 passed the Senate Education Committee after a long debate that spanned meetings over two weeks and now will move to the Senate floor for a final vote. The presence of LEE members, who were the only educators in attendance supporting the legislation, led to the Senate Education Committee being fully engaged and making a tough vote to pass HB79.

Through the South Louisiana Coalition for Education — a LEE member-led collective action group — members used the power of organizing to identify an opportunity, build a community of support, research issue and take action!