Blair Emerson / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK - A bill to regulate the use of restraint and seclusion in North Dakota schools failed in the House on Friday. Senate Bill 2266, whose primary sponsor is Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman, failed 33-12. The Senate Education Committee voted 5-2 to give the bill a "do not pass" recommendation. The bill would have required all schools to adopt restraint and seclusion policies by July 1, 2020. It would also mandate schools report incidents to the state Department of Public Instruction and the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.
The North Dakota Senate on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have allowed a person with a "documented disability" to teach in areas where there are teacher shortages. Senate Bill 2199, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, received a unanimous "do not pass" recommendation from the Senate Education Committee. Sen. David Rust, R-Tioga, said Wednesday, Feb. 13, that the committee learned there are several teachers in the state who meet all of the requirements to become a teacher but cannot pass an exam for beginning teachers.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota is looking to make computer science and cybersecurity courses accessible to all students across the state. A group of educators this month completed a final draft of K-12 computer science and cybersecurity standards, which, pending State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler's approval, will go into effect this fall.
BISMARCK — Some North Dakota parents on Wednesday, Feb. 6, gave emotional testimony on how their children with disabilities were kept in storage rooms and placed in face-down restraints while in school. Parents told members of the Senate Education Committee that these incidents have caused their children to fear going to school — one parent even stated that his 13-year-old son now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
WING, N.D. - Wing — population 150 — is still without water after extreme cold left the city's water tower pumps frozen. The pumps froze up Thursday morning, Jan. 31, and, as of Friday morning, crews were still out trying to diagnose the problem. "The lines in the pump house have froze, and then the recirculating pump at the tower is also frozen," said Mayor Julie Hein, whose city is about 45 miles northeast of Bismarck. Hein said employees with North Dakota Rural Water Systems Associates were on scene this morning to find the root cause.
BISMARCK — A bill that would have established Education Savings Accounts parents can withdraw from for private school tuition and other educational expenses failed in the North Dakota Senate on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Senate Bill 2141, introduced by Sen. Oley Larsen, R-Minot, failed by a vote of 3-42. The bill marked the latest attempt to fund private school choice in North Dakota. A similar bill failed in the Legislature in 2017.
A North Dakota senator has proposed a bill that would revise the state's current anti-bullying law, which she said is "dated" and doesn't take into account where a majority of bullying takes place: online. Sen. Nicole Poolman, R-Bismarck, has introduced Senate Bill 2181, which would prohibit cyberbullying. The state's current anti-bullying law only covers bullying that takes place at school or on school grounds.
BISMARCK — A former deputy with the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department has been sentenced for stealing drugs from the state crime lab. On Tuesday, Jan. 29, South Central District Judge John Grinsteiner sentenced 32-year-old Kerry Komrosky to 30 months for felony theft of property and 360 days for two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, bringing his total prison time to three and a half years.
BEULAH, N.D. —A Beulah High School teacher accused of sending naked photos of herself has resigned. Superintendent Travis Jordan said on Friday, Jan. 25, that the Beulah Board of Education had formally accepted the resignation of Kelsie Laura Schmidt. Schmidt, 24, was charged last week with felony luring minors by computer or other means after a student told a detective with the Mercer County Sheriff's Department that he received three or four naked photos on Snapchat from Schmidt in August, according to court documents.
MANDAN, N.D. -- After deliberating for nearly eight hours on Thursday, Jan. 24, a jury found a Mandan Lyft driver guilty of sexually assaulting a rider. During the two-day trial, jurors heard testimony from the woman who said she was sexually assaulted by Corey Wickham, 39, who picked her up from a bar in Mandan on Aug. 25.