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Local State Senator Introduces Controversial Bill To Protect Schools

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By Brandon Redmond

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) A bill intended to keep felons out of Idaho’s public schools has caused some controversy.

"I was approached about a year ago by folks in the education field who deal with people that have been released from prison after a year or more in prison but come back into our school system," said State Senator Lee Heider.

The bill that Heider proposed would keep criminals with violent misdemeanors or felonies out of the schools.

"I just want to protect the innocent young minds that are in our high schools. I have twenty–seven grand children that live in the Twin Falls and Kimberly area. I mean I probably have more than anyone else in Twin Falls and I'm concerned about what they all see and do every day and the interaction they have with other students and I certainly don't want a negative influence of hardened criminals coming back to high school," said Heider.

The bill was received with mix opinions and many local residents didn't agree with the idea.

"I think that anybody should have the opportunity to go back to high school especially if you've had a felony or some sort of a history. You need to better yourself, get a better education," said Michelle Streeter, a Twin Falls Resident.

Heider has tabled the legislation, at least for now.

"The way it was written, it may have implied that younger people who have not been incarcerated could also be not allowed back in school. That was never our intent. It was only those who had been in prison for a year or more," said Heider.

Putting school safety at the forefront of the legislative session.



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