Public schools; student discipline. (HB296)

Introduced By

Del. Dickie Bell (R-Staunton) with support from co-patron Del. Jeff Bourne (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Public schools; student discipline. Prohibits students in preschool through grade three from being suspended or expelled except for drug offenses, firearm offenses, or certain criminal acts. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/03/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18101769D
01/03/2018Referred to Committee on Education
01/15/2018Impact statement from DPB (HB296)
01/19/2018Assigned Education sub: Subcommittee #1
02/05/2018Subcommittee recommends reporting (5-Y 3-N)
02/07/2018Passed by indefinitely in Education (12-Y 10-N) (see vote tally)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB170.


Juliet Hiznay writes:

This is a bill that is appropriate from a developmental standpoint. To suspend or expel such young children is counterproductive. Oftentimes children who are not following expectations of behavior in school have disabilities. A problem solving approach should be taken. There are plenty of in school alternatives. Also, isolating a child not solve any problems and can make the situation worse, especially when a child wants to avoid school.

ACLU-VA Juvenile Justice, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of VA strongly supports this bill, and other measures, that seeks to address the overwhelming problem VA has when it comes to school discipline. VA schools leads the nation in suspensions and referrals to law enforcement - with well over 70,000 school-aged children being suspended in the previous school year. Statistically, these suspensions disproportionately affect minority students and students with disabilities. This bill is a start in the right direction by limiting out of school suspension for young students. The bill still allows for exceptions in extreme instances. Young students in trouble need more help, not suspensions. This bill is the House version of SB 170