Lawmakers: Schools' concern about new assault law overblown

     (AP) – Some Missouri school leaders are worried that a new

state law might lead to felony arrests for students involved in fights and

bullying, but legal and legislative officials say the concern is overblown.

     The new law, part of an overhaul of a state criminal code that took effect

Jan. 1, increases penalties for third-degree assaults and some cases of


     Some school superintendents warned parents and their children that students

could face felony charges if they fight with or bully other students. In some

cases, the age of the defendant is not a factor in prosecution.

     But Missouri Bar President Dana Tippin Culter says schools have always been

required to report fights that cause serious injuries. She says prosecutors

won’t spend time filing felony charges over minor fistfights.


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