Anti-bullying legislation advances to Senate
A bill to mandate training for Virginia public school personnel on how to handle bullying is on its way to the Senate after passing the House, 98-2.
House Bill 504 would amend the code dictating school safety training for public school employees to specifically include “evidence-based antibullying tactics.”
The bill, sponsored by Delegate Rosalyn R. Dance, D-Petersburg, was held up in subcommittee when superintendents and representatives of school boards around the state objected to a clause that would have required a student survey about bullying. School officials argued that the survey would cut into valuable instructional time.
After that clause was removed, the subcommittee unanimously endorsed the bill, and the House Education Committee followed suit, 20-1.
On Thursday, HB 504 came up for final approval in the House. Two delegates voted against it – Republicans Edward T. Scott of Culpeper and Lee Ware of Powhatan.
That vote sent the bill on to the Senate. On Friday, it was assigned to the Senate Education and Health Committee.
The legislation comes after a spate of suicides by students who had been bullied across the nation. The deaths prompted an outpouring of public sentiment that culminated in the “It Gets Better” campaign. The campaign seeks to help bullying victims, especially those harassed for their sexual orientation, cope with bullying.
Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.
The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.
Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.
The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.
Take in a show at several locations this weekend! West End Comedy will provide laughs at HATTheatre; the production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” will close Sunday; and the youth theatre company CharacterWorks will present “Footloose” at The Steward School. Another show perfect for the kids – “Despicable Me 2” is playing at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center tonight. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
‘Earth to Echo’ aims to become this generation’s ‘ET’
But that formula isn’t particularly family friendly, if only because that thing waiting a few feet to the left of the cast is usually plotting their violent doom.
That’s what sets Earth to Echo apart from the pack. It, too, follows a group of characters armed with a camera and a tendency to encounter unknown life forms. But all those familiar parts have been rearranged just enough to make it suitable for a much younger audience. > Read more.
An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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