Virginia elementary schools logged 16,000 student suspensions in a single school year, just for children from pre-K to third grade.
Legislation moved forward Wednesday to rein that in, forbidding suspensions longer than five school days in those grades except in extreme cases. Separate legislation generally capping long-term suspensions at 45 days at any grade level also cleared committee Wednesday, advancing a pair of high priorities for advocates pushing reforms on school discipline and juvenile justice.
The current cap is 364 days.
Several bills going through the 2017 session of the General Assembly are focused on school discipline: in particular, school suspensions.
House Bill number 1534, proposed by Delegate Dickie Bell, would change the amount of time a student can be suspended from school. Right now in Virginia, a student can be suspended for anywhere from 10 to 365 days. If the bill passes, students will only be allowed a suspension from 11 to 45 days.
Read More - New Virginia bills could change school suspension policies - WHSV
WASHINGTON — Changes to school discipline in Virginia could ban suspensions for elementary school students for anything but drug or weapons offenses and limit the use of long-term suspensions.
STAUNTON - With the television tuned in to Fox News at the Republican election watch party at the Byers Street Bistro in downtown Staunton, the early election results kept the crowd "cautiously optimistic" in the words of Del. Steve Landes, R-Weyers Cave.
But Landes noted the election results could go deep into the night, keeping everyone guessing until the very end.
"I think everybody is realistic from that standpoint," he said.
While everyone waited, drinks and food flowed freely into the evening, with the crowd comfortable in the thought that Donald Trump was leading in Staunton, which has leaned left in recent presidential elections. Hillary Clinton would eventually take Staunton, but that did little to dampen enthusiasm. Four years ago, the local Republican party knew earlier in the night that President Barrack Obama would prevail, and the festivities petered out swiftly. Not so Tuesday night.
Read More: Republicans Upbeat in Augusta County - The News Leader