New law requires schools to report bullying to parents within 24 hours
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Out of the hundreds of new laws passed in Virginia this July, one is to notify families sooner if a student is being bullied or is the bully.
Senate Bill 1072 requires principals to alert parents if a student is involved in an alleged bullying incident within 24 hours.
The prior requirement was just five days.
“That’s too long, to be honest. Anything can happen in five days,” Madonna Thompson, a Henrico parent, said.
Thompson said her daughter, who is now in high school, has been on both ends of the stick regarding bullying in schools.
”Sometimes it ended in a positive way where they were able to have conflict resolution and resolve the issues, but bullying is a huge concern,” Thompson said.
She said she is for the change but is concerned about the validity of the allegations.
“24 hours is like a really quick turnaround time because, personally, when I get a phone call,” Thompson said. “If you’re calling me with a bullying allegation, I would like to have all the facts there.”
Thompson said with everything on social media these days, she can see why the change is needed.
“So that you can handle the bullying situation sooner rather than later, but just don’t come to the parent with open-ended information,” Thompson said.
Other parents who did not want to be on camera said they wanted to see the response time be quicker.
Rather than giving 24 hours, they want to be notified by the end of the school day.
Thompson says she believes any update in communicating with parents is a step in the right direction.
“I hope for it to change a lot and have a huge impact,” Thompson said.
School divisions are set to discuss the change this summer, including Henrico, at its next school board meeting on July 22.
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