Imagine your child being bullied in school by another student; remember this could be a high school student. Your child is called names and mocked, walks through the halls listening to verbal abuse, embarrassed because other students are watching but terrified of being caught alone by the bully. That is assault, and if a teacher sees this occurring to your child day after day, it is not to be reported to the principal or to you.
Legally assault, but not a reportable incident in school.
Suppose this bully walks beside your child down the hallway, bumping your child against the lockers. Suppose the bully’s face is so close saliva sprays on your child’s face, who is too afraid to move and silently praying for someone to intervene. That is assault and battery, with no bodily injury. Teachers can see this happening to your child day after day, with no recourse because it is not to be reported to the principal. Or to you.
Legally battery, but not a reportable incident in school
since your child has no bodily injury.
House Bill 257 has passed the House, now goes to the Senate. If passed, in Virginia schools, assault, or assault with battery but without bodily injury, will no longer be a reportable incident. No report is to be made to the principal, the superintendent, or parents. If assault and battery are crimes for adults, why would it not even be reported to the principal? Why change the current law?
- Assault is an intentional act that causes another person to fear that he/she is about to suffer physical harm. For adults, this allows police officers to intervene and make an arrest without waiting for the assaulter to actually strike the victim. For our school students, our legislators say tell no one, not even the principal or parents!
- Assault and battery means the aggressor physically strikes or offensively touches the victim. For an adult, spitting in a person’s face is enough unwanted contact to support an assault and battery conviction. For our school children through high school, if the physical contact doesn’t cause bodily harm, in is not to be reported to the principal or parents.
We hear cries across the country to stop school bullying, yet schools across the country are implementing laws and regulations to protect the perpetrator rather than the victim. Innocent children expected to bear the unbearable. Why would any legislator put us on the path that resulted in the suicide of an 8 year old boy, because the school ignored his being bullied?
HB 257 passed the House with bipartisan support. Did your delegate vote YES? Check here and if so, ask why! If you get a response share in the comments. Call your Senator and beg them to vote NO and keep this bill off Governor Northam’s desk.
Please share this post with your friends- let’s stop this bill together.