School Board adopts new alternative education policy
With a 7-2-0 vote, with Joseph Guzman (Sugarland Run) and Bob Ohneiser (Broad Run) opposed, the Loudoun County School Board adopted a new policy Tuesday night in compliance with state law to allow them to place a student who has committed an offense relating to Virginia law into an alternative education program.
Policy 8-40 allows the School Board to place a student who has committed a crime according to Subsection G of Section 16.1-260 of the Code of Virginia, into a “Alternative Education Program.
According to the drafted policy an “alternative education program” includes, but isn’t limited to, night school, adult education or any other education designed to offer instruction to students for whom the regular program of instruction may be inappropriate. A disciplinary assignment to the Substance Abuse Education Program or other short-term assignment is not a placement under this policy.
LCPS Deputy Superintendent Ned Waterhouse noted that in the past, alternative education programs were not used for violence or criminal offenses.
“We have not used the alternative education program in the past for discipline reasons other than the Substance Abuse Education Program, which is very narrowly defined and temporary,” Waterhouse said. “Historically, we have used two programs if we place students: one is ‘Young Adults,’ which is a co-administered program and we have paid tuition or paid support towards the EdAnywhere program.”
Such offenses include a firearm offense, homicide, felonious assault, association with drugs or controlled substances, criminal sexual assault, arson, burglary, robbery, street gang activity or mob violence.
The policy was drafted by the Board staff and discussed at great length by the Discipline Hearing Committee.
Chairman of the School Board John Stevens offered his opinion of the policy during the comment period.
“In reading over this policy, it seems to me that it is consistent with the need to offer education to students, with a presumption of innocence to students charged with a crime,” Stevens said. “But it also allows for the protection of the general population when there has been a crime of some kind.
“It certainly gives a lot of latitude, it puts an option before us and it gives us some procedures to follow that option and I think that’s a good thing,” Stevens said.
Post a commentCommenting is not available in this channel entry.
Comments express only the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or any associated person or entity. Any user who believes a message is objectionable can contact us at [email protected].
|The Loudoun Times-Mirror
is an interactive, digital replica
of the printed newspaper.Click here for all e-editions.