WAYNESBORO — Del. Dickie Bell, R-Staunton, has proposed a trio of bills in the 2017 General Assembly that reduces the maximum length of long-term suspensions for Virginia public school students and prohibits, in most cases, suspensions or expulsions for students in grades K-5.
One of the bills would reduce long-term suspensions from 364 calendar days to 45 school days, and would limit them to the current grading period unless aggravating circumstances were present. The K-5 requirement would allow suspensions or expulsions only for drug or firearms' offenses, or for certain criminal acts.
The delegate, a former special education teacher, also has proposed a prohibition on expulsions solely for disruptive behavior, unless there is “a credible threat of physical injury to another person.”