We want to make you aware of a few new State Statutes that will go into effect on January 1, 2017, which may have a drastic impact on how incidents are handled in area school districts.
The way the new statue reads, if a person commits the offense of an assault in the third degree this will now be classified as a Class E Felony, rather than a misdemeanor. If he or she knowingly causes physical injury to another person (hits someone or has a fight with another individual and an injury occurs) – one or both participants may be charged with a Felony.
What does this mean for students?
For example, if two students are fighting and one child is injured, the student who caused the injury may be charged with a felony. Student(s) who are caught fighting in school, bus or on school grounds may now be charged with a felony (no matter the age or grade level), if this assault is witnessed by one of the School Resource Officers/police officers (SRO) or if the SRO/local law enforcement officials have to intervene.
Statue 565.054.1 -- A person commits the crime of assault in the third degree, if:
-- A person commits the offense of assault in the third degree if he or she knowingly causes physical injury to another person.
The offense of assault in the third degree is a class E felony, unless the victim of such assault is a special victim, as the term "special victim" is defined under section002, in which case it is a class D felony.
Statue 565.056. 1. -- A person commits the offense of assault in the fourth degree, if:
(1) The person attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical injury, physical pain, or illness to another person;
(2) With criminal negligence the person causes physical injury to another person by means of a firearm;
(3) The person purposely places another person in apprehension of immediate physical injury;
(4) The person recklessly engages in conduct, which creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person;
(5) The person knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical contact with a person with a disability, which a reasonable person, who does not have a disability, would consider offensive or provocative; or
(6) The person knowingly causes physical contact with another person knowing the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Except as provided in subsection 3 of this section, assault in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor.
Violation of the provisions of subdivision (3) or (6) of subsection 1 of this section is a class C misdemeanor unless the victim is a special victim, as the term "special victim" is defined under section565.002, in which case a violation of such provisions is a class A misdemeanor.