Va. Student Safety Bills Signed Into Law | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Va. Student Safety Bills Signed Into Law

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The bills range from restrictions on obscene texting to mandating a survey that identifies substance abuse risk factors among students.

Governor Bob McDonnell signed the bills surrounded by school children, educators, and parents. Delegate Rob Bell said lawmakers work every year to close loopholes and enhance safety.

"One is, just that technology moves on," he says. "When we were coming up, kids left obscene phone calls with each other, now they use texting, it's just as threatening, it's just as scary, so we need to make the technology change to keep up."

His second bill makes it illegal for sex offenders to operate or ride on school buses. Two others that were signed increase penalties for drivers who pass stopped school buses, and permit localities to install video cameras on the buses.

Delegate Scott Garrett's bill bans synthetic marijuana and bath salts being abused as substances.

"There are documented cases of very serious medical consequences to these chemicals, anywhere from nausea and vomiting to paranoia, agitation and seizure disorders," Garrett says.

The synthetic marijuana law has already taken effect. The others will be effective July 1st.

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