School Gang Gag Bill Now in the House
In a rushed process, the radical leftists in the Senate rammed through a Policing Reform bill, SB 2820. They passed it (30-7) without a hearing and in a marathon 17-hour session that ended at 4:15 AM on Tuesday.
The fact that a vital piece of legislation that centers around police reform is being rushed through without a hearing is bad enough but, alarmingly, there is a section of the bill that prohibits school officials from reporting to any law enforcement authority whatsoever that a student is a member of a gang!
If a principal, superintendent, or school resource officer discovers that a student is a member of MS-13, they would be prohibited from alerting any law enforcement authority by any means including a verbal conversation.
The House version, HB 4860, reads, “School department personnel shall not disclose to a law enforcement officer or agency . . . suspected gang affiliation, unless it is germane to a specific unlawful incident or to a specific prospect of unlawful activity.” You can read the bill in its entirety here.
In other words, gangs can go about their business in a school setting potentially recruiting members and secretly planning their crimes without law enforcement even knowing they exist. Only if they already committed a crime, in which case it is too late, or if a planned crime is somehow “let out of the bag,” will law enforcement be notified.
Both versions of the bill include questionable provisions regarding qualified immunity – a vague and slippery slope regarding who will be held liable for an officer’s actual or perceived misconduct especially with regards to “bias-free policing?”
Law enforcement officers could be vulnerable to threats of frivolous lawsuits that ham-string them from acting appropriately in the face of dangerous criminal activity.
Lastly, establishment of a new Police Officer Standards and Accreditation (POSA) Committee to promulgate standards and licensing for police officers should be done with great care and consideration ensuring fair and competent representation.
The Senate proposed a lopsided committee of 15 members while the House version proposes a 7-member committee arguably lopsided as well.
Neither the Senate nor House Bills are worthy of passage.
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