Bill aims to bar felons from serving on school boards across the state

BISMARCK, N.D. - Lawmakers are discussing a bill to bar felons from serving on a school board.

Students from Turtle Mountain high school traveled almost 200 miles to testify for the bill at the Capitol today.

The bill would require criminal history backgrounds from school board members and prohibit felons from serving on the boards.

The Turtle Mountain school board currently has two people convicted on federal charges the students say they're not the best representation or role models for schools.

Turtle Mountain high school students are determined to find change for their community.

"Our education is one of the most important things to us, we take it extremely seriously. We also feel that certain school board members do not take our education seriously and they don't have our best interest at heart," said Student Council President Aiyana Jollie.

School board members Doug Delorme and Bruce Morin are convicted on federal charges.

Students and the community say the board are set to be role models but many don't trust them.

"They need to be good stewards of tax payer dollars. By making sure that those dollars when they get to the local level are spent on students and spent on education," said Sen. Nicole Poolman, R-Bismarck:

Students say some of their board members aren't spending funds to benefit the schools.

"A lot of our school board members they take unnecessary out of town trips while our students are being forced to use olf textbooks and microscopes that don't work we just want to see a better education for o.r students," said Jeryn Marcellais, student council member.

They say this can happen anywhere across the state and want to make a difference.

They're hoping legislators at the Capitol will vote to pass the bill

The house judiciary committee heard the bill Thursday afternoon.

The executive director of the Indian Affairs commissions says the school board association spoke against the bill.