Saturday: Last Chance to Give Input on School Discipline

Fairfax County's Ad Hoc Community Committee on Student Rights and Responsibilities hosts last listening session Saturday in month-long tour to get input on the system's disciplinary process.

A committee tasked with reviewing the system's student rights and responsibilities handbook will host its last community meeting Saturday seeking input from residents on what changes it should consider moving forward.

The Fairfax County School Board appointed the Ad Hoc Community Committee on Student Rights and Responsibilities in September. The 40-member group has met regularly since October, and throughout February, it has traveled across the county seeking parent, student and community member feedback on how to improve Fairfax County Public Schools' disciplinary procedures.

The group's final meeting is from 1 to 3 p.m Saturday in Falls Church High School's Little Theater.

At one of the group's meetings earlier this month in McLean, parents debated the merits of parental notification — a main focus of the ongoing push to reform FCPS disciplinary proceedings — and a "second chance" program for students caught possessing drugs or alcohol.

The county's school board stopped short of adding parental notification to the disciplinary process in a package of reforms last May; bills in the Virginia General Assembly seeking to make it a part of all schools' standard procedures ultimately failed in last year's session.

Parents also have expressed frustration on how difficult the SR&R handbook is to understand. At the McLean meeting, they recommended the document be simplified or at least made more easily searchable online. 

Read more about that meeting's feedback here.

Committee chair Steve Stuban, whose son’s suicide sparked a push for discipline reform two years ago,said he and the committee would likely make final recommendations to the school board in March or April.

Patch Editor William Callahan reported for this story.


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