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.

Reynolds CC to host sculptor Paul DiPasquale

Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.

Free children’s clothing for those in need

The Children's Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church will be open Saturday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 to provide free new or nearly new children's clothing for families in need, prior to the start of the school year. The Clothing Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon both days. The church is located at 22 North Holly Avenue. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10

Beautiful fall weather is back this weekend! Don’t leave your favorite pooch at home – take the whole family to Canine Companions’ DogFest Walk ‘n Roll at West Broad Village or FETCH a Cure’s annual Mutt Strutt at Deep Run Park. Pets are also welcome at this weekend’s Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games. Halloween events taking place Sunday include the University of Richmond’s 18th annual Trick or Treat Street and Goblins and Gourds at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.


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Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will host October Oddities Oct. 1-31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Refresh your “garden spirit” with displays and activities for all ages throughout the month of October. Enjoy vignettes designed to provoke a sense of curiosity and wonder using underappreciated oddities of nature and “horti-torture.” Pick up a Gourd Quest at the admissions desk before heading down to the Children’s Garden. Included with regular admission which is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors 55+ and $8 for children 3-12. For details, visit Full text

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