As part of the 30 bills that Governor Youngkin recently signed into law, one of the notable ones is a Va. law that will require more school crimes to be reported to law enforcement.
As reported by WTOP, the newly signed law will increase the number of school-based incidents reported to law enforcement and codifies the notification of parents whose children have been targeted. Until now, school principals have only been required to notify law enforcement if the illegal act would qualify as a felony.
The bill aims to maintain student privacy, saying no disclosures should be made that violate current confidentiality provisions. School principals are granted some latitude in choosing whether to report certain misdemeanors if the offender has a disability.
When the law takes effect on July 1 however, school principals will be required to report to law enforcement certain acts — involving assaults, threats, guns and drugs — that may eventually be classified as misdemeanors. The new law specifies harsh consequences for school superintendents and principals who skirt the reporting law, including fines, suspension or dismissal.
This law is no doubt in response to the controversy being caused at the Loudoun County School Board, where several cases of sexual assault where severely mishandled, and in some cases, not even reported to the parents. Among the other bills signed, HB1138 was another notable one, as Youngkin attempted to have the bill amended to force the whole Loudoun County School Board to run again this year. When his efforts failed, Youngkin approved Delegate David Reid’s (D-Loudoun) underlying bill, originally created to facilitate beginning a staggered election cycle for the various seats on the board. (RELATED: Youngkin Takes Final Action on 30 Bills, Signs Loudoun School Board Bill Without Requirement to Make Board Run Again)
“Despite the positive intentions, the legislation has practical implications for the effective management of state government that may lead to significant confusion when state employees comment during legislative or regulatory public comment periods,” Youngkin wrote in the veto explanation. “I strongly support the foundational principle of free speech and as Governor will always be an advocate for policies that protect this founding principle.”