Nebraska student-discipline bill stalls in Legislature

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A bill that would let Nebraska teachers physically restrain students who are hurting themselves or others died in the Legislature Thursday after opponents mounted a filibuster to keep it from coming to a vote.

Supporters fell one vote short of the 33 they needed to end legislative debate and advance the bill through a first-round vote.

The bill by Sen. Mike Groene, of North Platte, would have allowed teachers to physically intervene in cases where a disruptive student is threatening themselves, a teacher or another student.

The state teacher's union has pushed for the bill, arguing that many teachers feel powerless in their own classrooms and some have suffered severe injuries at the hands of unruly students.

Opponents argued that minority students and children with disabilities are most likely to be physically disciplined for disruptive behavior. They said more focus should be put on training teachers to help them defuse situations with disruptive students earlier, before they turn physical.

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