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.
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Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


It’s going to be a cold weekend so if you’re headed out to the James River Parade of Lights or the Richmond Road Runners Club Toy Run 5K in Innsbrook, you’d better bundle up! If you’re looking for some indoor ways to celebrate the holidays, check out Three-Penny Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story for Christmas” or “To Drive the Cold Winter Away: An Irish Celebration of the Returning Light” at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Glen Allen. Also this weekend – the Henrico Theatre will show the holiday classic “Home Alone." For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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Congregation Brith Achim, 314 W. South Blvd. in Petersburg, will commemorate the Jewish Festival of Lights with a Dreidels and Dinner Chanukah Celebration. Admission is free. For details, call 732-3968. Full text

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