Public schools; student discipline. (SB170)

Introduced By

Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Moneta) with support from co-patron Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Public schools; student discipline. Prohibits, except for drug offenses, firearm offenses, and certain criminal acts, students in preschool through grade three from being suspended for more than three school days or expelled from attendance at school unless (i) the offense involves physical harm or credible threat of physical harm to others or (ii) the local school board or the division superintendent or his designee finds that aggravating circumstances exist, as defined by the Department of Education. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


12/28/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18100258D
12/28/2017Referred to Committee on Education and Health
01/12/2018Impact statement from DPB (SB170)
02/01/2018Assigned Education sub: Public Education
02/08/2018Reported from Education and Health with substitute (11-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2018Committee substitute printed 18106727D-S1
02/09/2018Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2018Impact statement from DPB (SB170S1)
02/12/2018Read second time
02/12/2018Reading of substitute waived
02/12/2018Committee substitute agreed to 18106727D-S1
02/12/2018Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB170S1
02/13/2018Read third time and passed Senate (34-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2018Placed on Calendar
02/19/2018Read first time
02/19/2018Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/19/2018Referred from Courts of Justice
02/19/2018Referred to Committee on Education
02/26/2018Assigned Education sub: Subcommittee #1
02/26/2018Subcommittee recommends reporting (8-Y 0-N)
02/28/2018Reported from Education (20-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
03/02/2018Read second time
03/05/2018Passed by for the day
03/06/2018Read third time
03/06/2018Passed House (85-Y 11-N)
03/06/2018VOTE: PASSAGE (85-Y 11-N) (see vote tally)
03/08/2018Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB170ER)
03/08/2018Signed by Speaker
03/09/2018Impact statement from DPB (SB170ER)
03/10/2018Signed by President
03/16/2018Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on March 16, 2018
03/16/2018G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, April 9, 2018
03/30/2018G Approved by Governor-Chapter 585 (effective 7/1/18)
03/30/2018G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0585)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 26 seconds.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB296.


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 Senate version of HB 296.