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Disciplinary Policy Changes Coming To Fairfax Co. Schools | Education

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Disciplinary Policy Changes Coming To Fairfax Co. Schools

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WUSA) -- Mounting pressure from upset parents is forcing Fairfax County Public Schools officials to change they way they discipline students. Thursday night at a school board meeting, school officials voted to afford students more rights.

Parents we spoke with say this is a good start to a problem they claim is spread throughout the entire school system. At the center of the complaint is the argument the current policy to discipline students is too strict and damaging.

Now some of the policy will change. Among several amendments that will change is one that is of huge importance to parents like Tim and Sue Anderson. The school board will no longer automatically transfer students out for their first misconduct infraction. Instead, depending on the fraction, other options will be exercised before transferring a student from a school.

Tim Anderson's son, Josh, was transferred out of Langley High School for misconduct involving marijuana two years ago. His parents claim the strict punishments that came with the transfer were too much for Josh to handle. He committed suicide in 2009.

Now his father is hoping the school board keeps their word and makes sure the change to the amendment is upheld.

"Our hope all along in this process is that this will keep another family from having to go through what we went through," said Tim Anderson.

Another change to the disciplinary policy is any student who is serving an out-of-school suspension will be afforded every academic service possible to make sure that student doesn't miss out on his or her classes or classwork.

In a 5-7 vote, school board members denied an amendment that would've forced school officials to contact a student's parent or guardian before the student is questioned about a misconduct infraction.