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Kojo Explores FCPS Discipline Policies With McLean Community

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Tom Jacobi of Langley Photo and Digital and Jacque-Lynne Schulman of the McLean Historical Society help facilitate the conversation for "Kojo in Your Community" Tuesday night.
Matt Martinez
Tom Jacobi of Langley Photo and Digital and Jacque-Lynne Schulman of the McLean Historical Society help facilitate the conversation for "Kojo in Your Community" Tuesday night.

School board members Tina Hone and Janie Strauss shared the stage with Fairfax schools' superintendent Jack Dale, and attorney Bill Reichart, who specializes in helping families with children caught up in the county's discipline system.

Hone, an at-large board member who's been fighting for discipline reform for years, says Fairfax needs a discipline program that matches its reputation for high academic achievement.

"We are in a position to lead the nation on this...and instead of patting ourselves on the back for what we've done, let's pay attention to those kids for whom the process didn't work," she says.

Much of the discussion centered on "involuntary transfers" -- the practice of moving a student to another school within the district in hopes of changing bad behavior.

Critics say Fairfax overuses the tactic and doesn't fully understand the impact it can have on a child.

South Lakes High School principal Bruce Butler says involuntary transfer is sometimes the best option.

"Especially in an event where there's a victim. To leave the perpetrator in the building would be unfair to the victim and the other students in your school," Butler says.

Fairfax's school board is currently conducting a full review of its disciplinary process.

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