Senate Passes Parent Notification Bill
Legislation from Sen. Chap Petersen receives unanimous support.
Legislation requiring school administrators to notify parents whenever a student commits a violation that could result in expulsion passed the state Senate with unanimous support Monday.
Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34th District) sponsored the bill (SB 167), which now moves to the House of Delegates for consideration.
"Parents need to know when our children are in serious trouble, and I believe that this bill eventually will bring state law closer to that critical goal," Petersen said in a statement.
Other Northern Virginia lawmakers — Sen. David Marsden (D-37th District) and Dels. Kaye Kory (D-38th District) and Tim Hugo (R-40th District) — introduced similar legislation in response to student suicides parents and community members linked in part to Fairfax County Public Schools' disciplinary process last year.
Petersen's bill incorporates Marsden's version; Kory's and Hugo's proposals never made it to the House floor.
Steven Stuban, who said his son Nick's suicide came shortly after his involvement in the county's disciplinary process, stood with legislators in Richmond last month to declare his "unwavering support" for legislation on the matter.
Parental notification was part of a number of changes parent advocates, spurred by Stuban, pressured the school board for last spring. While the board adopted several of those changes, including relying less on involuntary transfers as punishment, it stopped short of adding parental notification to the disciplinary process.