Policy Committee looks at Cephas bill to give second chances to students

PHILADELPHIA, April 25 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on her H.B. 2210 that would expunge student disciplinary records for nonviolent offenses.   

Cephas requested the hearing to discuss the importance of ensuring nonviolent offenses would not have long-term negative impacts on students’ future outcomes. Cephas was joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

“I am excited to have the House Democratic Policy Committee here in Philadelphia to discuss my legislation. Giving students the opportunity to make amends and seek redemption for past actions is important. When it relates to nonviolent offenses, allowing them the chance to show their community they are sorry for their actions and ready to learn and grow from those mistakes is a big step in growing up and should not have a permanent negative impact on their future,” Cephas explained.

Sturla added, “Mistakes are a part of life and a nonviolent infraction should not have a long-term negative impact on kids’ lives. Rep. Cephas’ bill is a great chance for those who have made mistakes to do what the school district asks to give them a clean slate and not let those mistakes forever impact the course of their future.”

Testifiers included: Jeff Hullrung, school board president, Unionsville-Chadds Ford School District; James Plunkett, executive director of admissions, La Salle University; Reynelle Brown Staley, policy attorney, Education Law Center; Tara Murtha, associate director of strategic communications, Women’s Law Project; Amy Warner, deputy director-juvenile probation, First Judicial District; Gregg Volz, director of Youth Court Support Center, EducationWorks; and Elzat Erken, youth commissioner, Philadelphia Youth Commission.

The meeting is one in a series being held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA that includes putting people first, good jobs, quality schools and fair taxes. Additional information about the Plan4PA is available at www.plan4pa.com. Materials from today’s discussion will be available at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee.