Members of Virginia's General Assembly are considering legislation that would require school administrators to notify parents before questioning students for serious violations.
Nick Stuban, a 15 year old sophomore and linebacker on the football team, was considered a model student at Woodson High School in Fairfax County. That is, until school administrators caught him with synthetic marijuana.
Steve Stuban, Nick's father, says Fairfax County school officials didn't notify him until the teenager had already been suspended with the recommendation of expulsion. "Nick had been questioned multiple times over multiple days had been asked to execute multiple written statements," Steve Stuban says. "They have already decided what the punishment was going to be. It was only then that they thought to perhaps contact my wife and I."
Nick Stuban committed suicide in January 2011. Ever since that day, Steve Stuban has been fighting to require schools to notify parents when there is a disciplinary issue with their child. He fought for FCPS to revise its discipline policy, and aast year, he waged an unsuccessful campaign for Fairfax County School Board. This year, he's taking the fight to Richmond.
Now, Stuban is working with a handful of Northern Virginia legislators on a bill that would require that school administrators notify parents before questioning students in the case of a suspension, the notification of law enforcement or the filing of a court petition.
"Over the past year I've spoken with literally thousands of people in Fairfax County, and everyone is stunned by the fact that that requirement does not exist today," says Stuban.
Administrators say they want legislators to carefully consider any changes to the law that might undermine their ability to act swiftly in cases where school security is at stake.