The 2008 General Assembly adopted legislation (HB 1439 and SB 241) amending Standard 7 of the Standards of Quality to require school boards to adopt policies addressing sexual abuse of students by teachers and other school board employees:
Each local school board shall develop policies and procedures to address complaints of sexual abuse of a student by a teacher or other school board employee.
The Virginia Board of Education developed Guidelines for the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct and Abuse in Virginia Public Schools to help school divisions meet their obligation under the law and create and implement policies and procedures that establish clear and reasonable boundaries for interactions between students and teachers, other school board employees, and adult volunteers. The model policies and best practices in the document draw from policies and legislation approved by school boards and legislatures in other states and policies and best practices implemented by private and parochial schools and national youth-service organizations.
The Board of Education is expected to review the public comment and adopt final guidelines at its meeting on February 17, 2011, in Richmond.
Please submit your comments by e-mail, US mail, or FAX by February 12, 2011. Send comments to:
Mr. Charles Pyle
Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Education
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218
Fax: 804/ 225-2524