Higher education; right of students to assert objection to requirement of academic degree program. (HB1207)

Introduced By

Del. Brenda Pogge (R-Williamsburg) with support from co-patron Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Right of students to assert conscientious objection to any requirement of an academic degree program in an institution of higher education; liability.  Provides that no public or private institution of higher learning may penalize or deny academic credit to a student because he refuses to perform academic coursework because it would force him to violate a sincerely held religious belief. The bill also provides that the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia shall not recognize any accrediting agency that takes any adverse action against an institution of higher learning that exempts students from academic coursework for such reason. The Attorney General or any student, prospective student, or former student aggrieved under the bill may bring a civil action against the institution of higher learning, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, or the relevant accrediting agency for damages, injunctive and declaratory relief, and any other relief authorized by law and may be entitled to reasonable attorney fees. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


  • 01/19/2012 Presented and ordered printed 12103965D
  • 01/19/2012 Referred to Committee on Education
  • 01/24/2012 Assigned Education sub: Higher Education and Arts
  • 02/07/2012 Subcommittee recommends continuing to 2013
  • 02/08/2012 Continued to 2013 in Education
  • 11/29/2012 Left in Education


Waldo Jaquith writes:

Pogge has renounced this bill.