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Parents, Community Members Rally Before School Board Decision

Protesters say disciplinary amendments to the Students Responsibilities and Rights document don't go far enough

Amendments to Fairfax County Public Schools disciplinary policy may be a "step in the right direction," but don't go far enough, said advocates who rallied before a school board meeting at Luther Jackson Middle School in Falls Church.

About two dozen members and supporters of Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform, a group of concerned citizens who fight for reform of Fairfax County school disciplinary policies and their implementation, wore red as they waved signs around the entrance of the school. Fifty others looked on.

School board members were scheduled to approve several changes to the county's Students Responsibilities and Rights Handbook on Thursday night after a months-long review of the disciplinary process, a 15-year-old Woodson High student, in January.

Superintendent Jack Dale to the process and Student Responsibilities and Rights handbook last month, and groups suchand FZTR.

But those don't go far enough, advocates say. Specifically, among other requests, they want to

  • Eliminate the practice of having students sign confessions after they've been interrogated
  • Eliminate (and/or reduce) transfers between county schools
  • Notify parents in every disciplinary case, before students are questioned by administrators. 

Advocates said whatever changes are approved Thursday won't be the end of the fight for student rights.

Check back with Patch for more information on the board's decision.

Click the video in the media player above to watch clips from the rally.

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