Bill requires teachers to notify parents about eating disorders - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Bill requires teachers to notify parents about eating disorders

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A new bill has passed the General Assembly that requires teachers who suspect children of having an eating disorder to report it to the child's parents.

Eating disorders among children are on the rise and it's a condition that can be deadly. Some parents think it's a great idea but not everyone is happy, saying there's a privacy issue.

Delegate Richard Bell (R)-Staunton told NBC12 that he's not worried about the privacy of children being infringed upon.

"If we're going to trade privacy for saving a child's life then I think it's a good deal."

Bell's bill requires school boards to give parents information about eating disorders for children in grades five through twelve.

Another piece of the legislation requires teachers to notify parents if they see potential signs of an eating disorder.

Richmond parents Brian and Becky Bean have three daughters. They agree that eating disorders are an issue, especially common among young girls. Where they differ is if the bill goes too far.

"A person's definition of risky behavior might differ from someone else's," said Becky Bean. "It might stigmatize a kid."

"I don't agree," said Brian Bean. "It would be helpful for us, I think."

Bell wants to eventually offer teachers training on what to look for and how to handle potential eating disorders. His bill is on Governor McDonnell's desk waiting his confirmation or veto.

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