DOVER, Del.- A new Delaware law is trying to unclog the juvenile justice system. Under the new law, schools no longer have to report every crime to police.
House Bill 243 allows the courts to deal with serious offenses, leaving the schools to handle minor infractions. Serious crimes like violent felonies, assault in the third-degree and any sexual offense must still be reported to police.
But the newly-signed law is more lenient when it comes to misdemeanors, especially for children under the age of 12.
Sylvia Martinez is the mother of a 10-year-old boy who says kids need to be disciplined.
"If my child is in school and goes in the teacher's purse and steals money, I believe that the police should be called," she said.
Warren Evans said school officials are qualified to handle smaller infractions.
"The principal makes the decision," he said. "He should be in the position to know whether he can handle it or whether he needs to call the police."
Delaware State Police say misdemeanors include offensive touching and misdemeanor theft.
Supporters of the law say teachers will now be able to use their discretion when it comes to reporting behavior and kids will be able to get the counseling they may need at their school.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:25 AM EDT2013-05-21 15:25:37 GMT
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