PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. - The Code of Behavior is changing in Prince William County Public Schools.
Moving forward, the number of days a student is suspended for bad behavior has decreased.
The school board made the plan official during Wednesday night's vote.
School officials believe students being removed from the classroom as punishment does more harm than good.
Some members of the community agree with the changes while others say students need to know there are serious consequences for their actions.
Prince William County resident Ed Reid told FOX 5 "children need to be held responsible – be taught between right and wrong, so they don’t act out."
"If they lessen the punishment, it’s going to encourage people to maybe not try as hard to get in trouble," he said.
"Hopefully there will be other types of ways they can solve the issue. Maybe, like no extracurricular activities or taking something away," said Lauren Rodriguez, a parent of a student who attends a Prince William County school.
School officials say that students being removed from the classroom as punishment exacerbates issues instead of helping them deal with the root cause of their behavior.
The changes for elementary, middle, and high schoolers include a three-day suspension – instead of five – for students caught cheating and interrupting class.
For more egregious offenses like cussing, using slurs, and bullying, students won't get more than a five-day suspension as opposed to the 10-days administrators previously used for discipline.
"There’s a lot of students, especially with everything going on, who rely on the school to socialize so being completely taken out of that doesn’t seem fair," said Jared Collins, a country resident. "I know you can get suspensions for a lot of minor things."
Kay Rosquist, another Prince William native, said she doesn't believe the punishment should be cut in half when it comes to bullying.
"As a victim of bullying myself – the schools never did anything for me so why would they go easier on them when the victims are the ones who often get punished?" she said.