Education

UVA Students Vote On Softening 1842 Honor Code

Feb 25, 2015
Photo: Hawes Spencer

For 172 years, the University of Virginia has had a rule that students caught cheating, lying or stealing get kicked out. In the 21st century, that seems harsh to some, and students are now voting on whether to change the rule. 

Critics say the University of Virginia has expelled 183 students over the years for lying, cheating, or stealing -- but not a single person has been kicked out for sexual assault. What's more, the penalty for violating the Honor Code is so strict that last year, only two of those brought to trial by the Honor Committee were convicted.

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Some Virginia students who are home-schooled may be able to participate in public school interscholastic programs under legislation that has passed both houses of the General Assembly.  Lawmakers also sought to alleviate some concerns raised by school divisions.  

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Virginia schools could hold numerous fundraisers per year selling food that doesn’t meet nutritional guidelines under legislation that has passed both houses of the General Assembly.  The bill requires the Board of Education to craft regulations that would be more permissive than current state policy, and permit the sale of what some call “junk food” during school hours.  The Senate made its decision only after lengthy debate about what’s really best for the students. 

Lawmakers Debate Stun Guns & Pepper Spray in School

Feb 16, 2015

Virginia’s House has approved a bill designed to prevent school shootings, and state senators begin debating the measure today.  Sponsored by Fredericksburg Delegate Mark Cole, it  allows local school boards to arm security officers with batons, pepper spray and stun guns.

“These are school employees.  They are not law enforcement officers.  They don’t have training to use batons, stun weapons and spray devices.”  

When a special needs child is a bit fussy or has a history of violent outbursts in a classroom setting, who has the right to restrain them or put them into seclusion—and who decides when that goes too far?  In Virginia, that’s not clear.  But  a bill that's sailed through both chambers of the General Assembly will soon change that.

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