SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - If you have a child heading back to grade school after the holiday break, the rules on fighting are getting stricter.
There's a new statute going into effect starting January 1, 2017 that ups the punishment when students get into a fight.
The change means that if your student is caught fighting once they return back to school, they will get jail time.
Right now, if a student gets into a fight and hurts another person, they're charged with a misdemeanor and then released to their parents.
However, with the new law going into effect on January 1, that student will now head to a juvenile detention center and be charged with a Class E felony.
That means they could spend up to four years in jail.
Sikeston DPS Sergeant Jon Broom said he hopes this new rule will make students think twice before getting into a fight.
"A felony down the road is something that will definitely hamper you down the road for sure," Broom said.
Broom also said he hopes this new rule alerts students think twice before getting into alternation.
"I would definitely speak with them and talk with them and let them know just a fist fight anymore could definitely mean a felony," he said. "Something that could follow you on down the road and could make life difficult for you."
If you have a younger child, they are not exempt from this change.
This new rule effects all students no matter the grade level or age.