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.
After a very spirited debate in the state Senate, charter school proponents win a major victory. Senators passed a resolution to amend the state constitution to give the Board of Education authority to establish charter schools in Virginia.
Bill supporters argue that Virginia has only seven charter schools, but a far greater number of jurisdictions need more options for students with substandard public schools. Senator Tom Garrett agrees that socio-economic status should not determine a child's quality of education.
There’s a Hackathon set for this weekend at Virginia Tech. Students from around the country will be in Blacksburg. ---But no need to worry. These are not the same hackers who stage attacks on computers.
"We need to throw out the misnomer. Hackathons are not really about getting together and hacking in to mainframes," says Computer Science major Brandon Potts, Transportation Coordinator for this weekend’s Hackathon at Virginia Tech.
In Richmond, members of the General Assembly are moving forward with the plan to change high school graduation requirements. The bill is part of a larger effort to reduce the influence of standardized tests.
The House Education Committee is moving forward with a bill that would give local school divisions more flexibility in how they determine graduation requirements. The idea is to let administrators ditch standardized tests in favor of other assessments, like a science project or a research essay.