LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Last school year saw controversy, people being removed from board meetings, threatened lawsuits, and an investigation into the student discipline policies and procedures for Loudoun County Public Schools. Now, they're working on changing that.
A new student discipline policy was set to be voted on Tuesday night by the Loudoun County School Board. However, a spokesperson tells us there will be no vote on the policy Tuesday, instead, there will be a discussion.
The firestorm began in the fall of 2020 when a 15-year-old boy was accused of groping a classmate at Broad Run High School. He was allowed to enroll there even though he was facing charges for a sexual assault at Stone Bridge High School the previous year.
At the time, the superintendent said schools are bound by law to withhold disciplinary action until legal cases are settled.
The proposed policy will allow the board to place students who are accused of serious offenses in an alternate education setting, which can be in-person, virtual or hybrid.
The policy would apply to offenses committed in the community, not just in schools. Advocates for special education students asked for changes to ensure a student's disability is considered.
FOX 5 has learned staff initially reviewed and made revisions to the discipline policy on February 28th during the Discipline Committee meeting. We’re told the policy was presented for public feedback and additional revisions were made in May.
LCPS says public feedback was collected again from May 24th to June 7th and final edits were made at the June 30th committee meeting.
On Tuesday, the discussion continued and so does scrutiny from one of the victim’s families.
"Well, the first thing is it would have to be the severity of the offense," said Scott Smith in an interview with FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis. "The convicted felon that attacked my daughter, he should have never been put into an LCPS school with people. He should have been at home arrest just like we were told he was supposed to be."
Smith says he did not know about Tuesday's meeting until FOX 5 contacted him.
If the proposal moves forward during discussions Tuesday night, a vote is expected in September.