Anger management bill passes Senate committee
State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) said during a Senate Education Committee hearing last week that he was worried about funding for a bill that would give schools the option of connecting at-risk students with anger management classes.
House Bill 3086 would amend the school code to provide that school boards will require schools to connect students to anger management classes or conduct their own classes. It is sponsored by Sen. Christopher Belt (D-East St. Louis).
Weaver said funding is the biggest issue for him, as well as the rest of the Republican caucus.
"Even if there is already funding, won't it be taken from something else to put into this?" Weaver questioned.
Weaver also asked how much of anger management is also looking at conflict resolution.
"That's what I see as one of the biggest issues," he said. "I may get angry and you'll help me deal with my anger but how are you helping me deal with the person that I may end up doing a bad act against if I don't figure out how to deal with my anger and how to communicate properly? How much of anger management is about conflict resolution?"
State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant suggested an amendment to the bill to change the language from "shall" to "may" so that school's were not "on the line" if a student did not receive anger management.
Zach Messersmith with Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance said his organization had concerns with how the bill was currently drafted. He said if funding sources were found and an amendment was made, that would remove his organization's opposition.
The bill passed the committee and will be favorably reported to the Senate.
If the school board requires a school to conduct these classes, the classes would not be implemented until the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.