HB3047: School boards; notification of parent when student participates in school-sponsored clubs.

Offered January 15, 2007
A BILL to amend and reenact § 22.1-79.3 of the Code of Virginia, relating to local school board policies regarding school-sponsored clubs.
Patron-- Cole

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 22.1-79.3 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 22.1-79.3. Policies regarding certain activities.

A. No later than January 1, 2001, local school boards shall develop and implement policies to ensure that public school students are not required to convey or deliver any materials that (i) advocate the election or defeat of any candidate for elective office, (ii) advocate the passage or defeat of any referendum question, or (iii) advocate the passage or defeat of any matter pending before a local school board, local governing body or the General Assembly of Virginia or the Congress of the United States.

This section shall not be construed to prohibit the discussion or use of political or issue-oriented materials as part of classroom discussions or projects or to prohibit the delivery of informational materials.

B. Local school boards shall develop and implement policies to prohibit the administration of questionnaires or surveys to public school students during the regular school day or at school-sponsored events without written, informed parental consent for the student's participation when participation in such questionnaire or survey may subsequently result in the sale for commercial purposes of personal information regarding the individual student. In any case in which a questionnaire or survey requesting sexual information of students is to be administered, the school board shall notify the parent concerning the administration of such questionnaire or survey in writing not less than 30 days prior to its administration. The notice shall inform the parent regarding the nature and types of questions included in the questionnaire or survey, the purposes and age-appropriateness of the survey, and whether and how any findings or results will be disclosed. Parents shall have the right to review the questionnaire or survey and to exempt their child from participating in the survey. However, no questionnaire or survey requesting sexual information of a student shall be administered to any student in kindergarten through grade six and, unless required by federal or state law or regulation, school personnel administering any such questionnaire or survey shall not disclose personally identifiable information.

C. Local school boards shall develop and implement policies to advise the parent of each student enrolled in the school division of the availability of information in the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry and the location of the Internet website. Local school boards shall also develop protocols governing the release of children to persons who are not their parent.

D. No local school board providing access and opportunity to use school facilities or to distribute literature may deny equal access or fair opportunity to use such school facilities or to distribute literature, or otherwise discriminate against the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require any school or school division to sponsor the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of the USA, or to exempt any such groups from school board policies governing access to and use of school facilities and distribution of literature.

E. Prior to a student participating in a school-sponsored club or organization, local school boards shall:

1. Notify the parent or legal guardian of: (i) the name of the club; (ii) the mission or purposes of the club; (iii) the faculty or other adult sponsor or facilitator of the club; (iv) the club's planned activities; (v) whether the club is affiliated with any regional, state, or national organization; and (vi) any financial requirements, such as dues, for a student to join or become a member of a school-sponsored club; and

2. Require the prior express written permission of a parent or legal guardian to be filed with the school. The written permission shall clearly evidence that the parent or legal guardian has given informed consent as to the particular school-sponsored club or organization.

For the purposes of this subsection:

"Competitive interscholastic activity" means a function held under the auspices or sponsorship of a school that involves its students in competition between individuals and groups representing two or more schools. This term shall include cheerleading, band, and chorus.

"School-sponsored club or organization" means clubs and organizations comprised of students who wish to organize and meet for common goals, objectives, or purposes and that are directly under the sponsorship, direction, and control of the school The term shall include any activities reasonably related to such clubs and organizations, but shall not include competitive interscholastic activities or events.