The General Assembly passed legislation which drastically changes the mandated reporting requirements for our schools. The focus by Republicans was the removal of sexual assault from mandated reporting to the police.
Comparing the revision with current law, I realized Virginia citizens can stop this revision from having any effect on our schools.
It’s easy to explain:
- Under Current law, principals must report any criminal act, misdemeanor or felony, to the police. Assault or assault and battery without physical harm may be reported but is not required.
- Under Revised law, principals must report any FELONY act to the police, but activity that would constitute a misdemeanor may be reported.
Here is the key: This law also requires every school board to provide procedures to enforce the law in the school board policies.
Current school board policies must require principals to report virtually ALL criminal activity to the police. Since the revision does not prohibit principals from reporting misdemeanors, they may still report misdemeanors are required by every current school board policy.
We have a simple solution, the only solution, which requires concerned citizens to act.
If school boards do not change current reporting policy, this law has no effect.
As I explained to my local school board, in person and via email:
“Having compared the revision to Virginia Code 22.1-279.3:1 with current school board policy and procedures, it is clear our current policy concerning required reports to law enforcement are in alignment with the revision. I am asking that the school board make no change to current policies and procedures, so that behavior which may constitute a misdemeanor offense will continue to be reported to law enforcement. Our current policy in clearly not in conflict with the Virginia Code revision required by HB257.”
If we can monitor every School Board in Virgina and insist no changes are made to current policy, the revision in the law can have no effect in our schools.
Will you contact YOUR locality’s School Board?