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Posted at 2:40 PM ET, 02/21/2011

Senate kills bill to require more parent notification of school discipline

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Anita Kumar

The Virginia Senate Monday killed a bill to require school administrators to contact parents of school children whenever they face disciplinary action that is "likely" to result in suspension.

Advocates of the bill argued parents need to know whenever their children face serious disciplinary action. The Washington Post reported Sunday that in the case of a Fairfax County high school student who committed suicide after he was harshly disciplined for buying a legal marijuana-like substance at school, the student signed a written confession of his actions at the direction of school officials before his parents were informed he was in trouble.

"There has been a significant loss of confidence in the school disciplinary system," said Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City), alluding to the Fairfax case. Petersen said passage of the bill could have helped restore confidence in Fairfax.

But school organizations, including the Virginia Education Association and the principals' organization urged the bill's defeat, arguing it could require that schools notify parents for minor infractions, like running in the hallway or disrupting class.

"This places an untenable burden on the school administration because it requires them to predict the future," said Sen. Richard Stuart (R-Stafford), noting that teachers would have to anticipate when discipline is going to result in suspension.

HB1548 had passed the House of Delegates on a 98 to 0 vote but died on the floor of the Senate on a 12 to 28 vote.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 21, 2011; 2:40 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Now, we would not want school administrators to work too hard. What a bs excuse to not pass the bill. This is why the public school system as a whole is failing and labeled liberal.

Posted by: irish031 | February 21, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

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