School board to review discipline policy

Published 11:12 am Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Southampton County School Board in August adopted a disciplinary policy that granted Superintendent Dr. Alvera J. Parrish initial jurisdiction in cases of student expulsion. The previous approach did not involve the superintendent, but instead mandated that a student recommended for expulsion plead his or her case to a disciplinary committee comprised of three school board members.

“We’ve been talking in our meetings about whether or not the policy and the process that we use in Southampton County is in line with surrounding districts,” Chairman Dr. Deborah Goodwyn said.

Following Parrish’s recommendation for expulsion, parents can appeal the decision to the disciplinary committee. If they appeal is denied, parents can appeal once again to the rest of the school board if they so choose.

“According to the Code of Virginia, the only discipline decision of which the school board must be involved are expulsions,” Goodwyn said. “If the student is expelled from school for a calendar year, it has to be with board approval. The other suspensions for more than 10 days only come to the board if the parent or student are not satisfied at the superintendent level.”

Goodwyn requested that school board members review the policy in advance of their December meeting for any possible amendments and present their ideas next month.