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Virginia Bill Would Require Parental Notification Before Questioning

24 January 2012 One Comment

Delegate Tim Hugo

Press Release

Delegate Tim Hugo (R-40th) introduced Virginia HB 1080 in a joint press conference on Jan. 23 in Richmond. Joining him were Elizabeth Schultz, Fairfax County School Board member representing the Springfield District, Steve Stuban, a Fairfax County advocate for parental notification, Delegate Kay Kory (D-38th) and Senator Chap Peterson (D-34th.)

Hugo’s bill is in response to the public outcry surrounding last year’s tragic death of Nick Stuban and the growing concern among Fairfax County parents regarding the Fairfax County School System’s disciplinary process.

This bill requires school systems to notify parents at the school’s earliest opportunity of their student’s alleged misconduct.

Hugo stated, “HB 1080 codifies that parents must be part of the solution in seeking to help school administrators address student disciplinary issues. School systems must begin to view parents as partners, not adversaries.” HB 1080 specifically:

Requires the school principal to take certain procedures, including parental notification and the issuance of due process warnings, prior to questioning a student in the case of a serious violation.

Clarifies that a serious violation is defined as a violation of a school board policy or the compulsory school attendance requirements when such violation could result in the student’s suspension, the notification of law enforcement, or the filing of a court petition, and
Permits authorities to question a student immediately IF exigent circumstances exist, e.g. if another student’s safety is involved.

In stating the need for this bill, Hugo said, “I find it troubling that school administrators have questioned students for hours at a time without parental knowledge regarding issues that could lead to the student’s expulsion or incarceration.”

Hugo expressed his appreciation to School Board Member, Elizabeth Schultz, for working with him in crafting this legislation.

“Her advice and counsel regarding this bill was invaluable. I would also like to express my admiration to Steve Stuban for his unwavering commitment to ensure that no other student will go through the tragic interrogation to which his son, Nick, was subjected.”

Hugo’s bill has been referred to the Students and Early Education Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education.

Hugo currently serves as the Majority Caucus Chairman for the House Republican Caucus. He is the Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee and also serves on the Commerce and Labor, Transportation, and Privileges and Election Committees.

Hugo represents Centreville, Clifton, Fairfax, and Fairfax Station in Fairfax County as well as Catharpin, Gainesville, Haymarket, and Manassas in Prince William County.

By: Contributing Author

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One Comment »

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