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HB 4 School Principles-Incident Reports

HB 4 School Principles-Incident Reports

Executive Summary

House Bill No.4, offered on January 12, 2022, was meant to amend and reenact the BILL of the code of Virginia that relates to school principles, especially regarding incident reports. The General Assembly of Virginia amended and reenacted the Bill to address reports of certain acts to school authorities. Additionally, the words targeted the division superintendent, the principal, or the designee regarding various incidents that involved assault and battery, free from bodily injury of an individual in a school bus, school property, and any other school-sponsored activity. Education is a social policy in itself, and how communities decide to run various school activities significantly affects their students’ academic outcomes. From this Bill, incidents in a school bus that result in bodily harm should be addressed with utmost concern. School principals are expected to report inappropriate behavior to law enforcement authorities. This behavior is primarily regarded as a misdemeanor offense, and appropriate action should be taken. Also, the principal must report such incidents to the parents of any minor student involved in the act, which has also been reported to law enforcement authorities (HB 4, 2022). However, it is essential to note that principals must report such cases only when they constitute an offense.

Additionally, the Bill exempts school principals from reporting cases where there are written threats against school personnel while on a school bus, on school property, or when engaging in school-sponsored activities. The principal is not required to but may opt to report such incidences to local enforcement authorities. This Bill can be compared to SB 36. When submitting information to law enforcement authorities, the principals are expected to accurately indicate the offenses involved and the charges relevant to the case in terms of the law enforcement authorities under section B (HB 4, 2022). Ideally, a superintendent who knowingly refuses to comply with the requirements provided is liable to any sanctions authorized. On the other hand, when a principal knowingly fails to comply or secure compliance with the reporting protocols described in this section by the local board, the principal may face dismissal or demotion.

Whenever a student commits or is involved in a  reportable incident, as described in this section, they are expected to participate in intervention programs deemed fit by the superintendent or their designee. Ideally, the prevention and intervention activities shall be identified and designed by the local school division’s drug and violence prevention plans. These activities are primarily developed according to the federal Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994 (Title  IV-State and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act) (HB 4, 2022).

Except in cases that may be required by federal law, regulations, or jurisprudence, the principal is expected to report the incidents to local law enforcement authorities. These activities have to constitute criminal defense and, on the other hand, juvenile delinquency. However, nothing in this section may require any delinquency charges to be filed or instead prevent dealing with school-based offenses through graduated sanctions or educational programming before a delinquency charge is filed with the juvenile court. The Board of Education shall design regulations when implementing this section, including but not entirely confined to coming up with reporting dates and other requirements (HB 4, 2022). Most importantly, the constructs of this section are not meant to diminish the Governor’s authority to provide and coordinate any policy directions regarding official communications between the Commonwealth and the United States government.


House Bill No.4 aims to amend and reenact 22.1-279.3:1 of the code of Virginia that relates to school principals and incident reports. The Patrons of this Bill include  Wyatt, Anderson, McGuire, Avoli, Ballard, Batten, Bell, Bloxom, Brewer, Byron, Campbell, J.L., Campbell, R.R., Cherry, Davis, Durant, Fariss, Fowler, Freitas, Greenhalgh, Head, Hodges, Leftwich, March, McNamara, McQuinn, Morefield, O’Quinn, Ransone, Robinson, Runion, Scott, P.A., Tata, Taylor, Wachsmann, Walker, Wampler, Ware, Webert, Wiley, Williams, Wilt, and Wright as they are referred to committee on education. The Bill was revised and reenacted by the Virginia General Assembly to address reports of specific acts to school authorities (HB 4, 2022). The words also targeted the division superintendent, principal, or designee about numerous incidences, including assault and battery, without bodily injury, of an individual on a school bus, school property, or any other school-sponsored activity. Education is a form of social policy in and of itself, and how communities choose to administer various school activities has a considerable impact on kids’ academic results. According to this Bill, situations on a school bus resulting in bodily damage should be treated cautiously. Inappropriate behavior is supposed to be reported to law enforcement authorities by school principals. In addition, the principal must notify the parents of any minor students involved in the conduct, and the incident has been reported to law enforcement authorities (HB 4, 2022). However, it is crucial to emphasize that principals are only compelled to report such incidents if they are criminal.

About Critical Policy Analysis

This paper examines how school principals report incidences to law enforcement agencies, especially when they are bound to constitute a misdemeanor offense. Additionally, the frequency in which these offenses are reported to parents is addressed since, in such a case, the student is the subject of the crime said to the law enforcement agencies under the current law (HB 4, 2022). Although the policy suggests that principals should take the necessary actions to ensure that students are kept safe while on the school bus, on school premises, or in school-sponsored activities, exemptions are made on the need to report any written threats against school personnel while in a school bus, school property as well as in school-sponsored activities. Exemptions imply that principals are not obligated to report to the local law enforcement agencies, especially when the student has an individualized education plan (HB 4, 2022).

When a student commits or is involved in a reportable incident, as specified in this section, they are expected to participate in the superintendent’s or their designee’s intervention programs. Ideally, the prevention and intervention activities shall be recognized and planned by the local school division’s drug and violence prevention strategies. Federal Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994 prompted the development of these activities (Title IV-State and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act) (HB 4, 2022).

Unless otherwise compelled by federal law, rules, or jurisprudence, the principal must report events to local law enforcement authorities. These efforts must fall under criminal defense and juvenile delinquency, respectively. However, nothing in this provision prevents dealing with school-based violations through graduated punishments or instructional programming before filing a delinquency charge with the juvenile court. When implementing this provision, the Board of Education must create regulations, including establishing reporting deadlines and other obligations (HB 4, 2022). Most crucially, the provisions of this section are not intended to limit the Governor’s capacity to issue and coordinate policy directives concerning official communications between the Commonwealth and the US government.

Social Problem

Bullying is one of the most prevalent incidences that students may be involved in, whether on the school bus, on school property/premises, or at school-sponsored events. Bullying is described as a form of aggression and other forms of abuse and assault against children and students. Bullying can take various forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse, primarily perpetrated by peers, strangers, and known adults (Meltzer & Schwartz, 2018). All forms of aggression are characterized by misuse or the harmful use of power to dominate, control, subjugate, and humiliate another individual. As such, bullying can be categorized as a form of learned behavior, and hence, it becomes a social problem, especially when there are loopholes in the legislation that aims to curb this menace. When an individual is bullied, harassed, or excluded, especially in a school-based setting or environment, it can be said that their fundamental human rights are abrogated (Meltzer & Schwartz, 2018)).

Power Imbalance

This policy has a sense of power imbalance, especially when various exemptions are made. The Bill exempts school administrators from reporting written threats against staff while on a school bus, on school property, or participating in school-sponsored events. The principal is not obligated to report such incidents to local law enforcement, but they may choose to do so (Meltzer & Schwartz, 2018). SB 36 can be compared to this Bill. The principals are expected to state the offenses involved accurately and the charges relevant to the case in terms of the law enforcement authorities following section B when submitting information to them (Rooney et al.2017). A superintendent who knowingly refuses to comply with the requirements is subject to any punishment that may be imposed.

On the other hand, when a principal willfully fails to cooperate or secure, The local board may be fired or demoted if they do not follow the reporting rules outlined in this section. There is a power imbalance between the school’s administration and the policymakers. The burden lies on the administrators to determine where to draw the line when making decisions involving action against a particular student or perpetrator of an offense (Bogo, 2020).

Public Reaction

The public may not be actively involved in the legislation process or oversee the execution of this legislation (Bhuyan et al., 2017). However, when their children are exposed to activities that may lead to a misdemeanor or become culprits of the offense, the parents may be compelled to seek further action starting from the school management. When the administration does not take any necessary action, parents may seek assistance from the policymakers (Meltzer & Schwartz, 2018).

Legislative Intended Impact

            The intended legislative impact is that there should be some form of balance and relevance when implementing and reenacting various laws (Thompson, 2020). Additionally, there should be some sense of social justice when addressing this social problem in education. The legislation is meant to offer a safe environment for students and build their confidence and sense of social cohesion in a school setting (Meltzer & Schwartz, 2018).

Affected Populations

Most of the affected populations are mainly minor groups from impoverished communities. These populations face various challenges that affect them in multiple ways, including implementing and adhering to set legislations (Meltzer & Schwartz, 2018).

NASW Ethical Principles


As a social worker, it is crucial to accord service to others without necessarily looking at self-interest. Services rendered by social workers primarily draw on their values, knowledge, and skills, and this assists them in extending their services to others (Akesson et al., 2017). In this case, social workers can advance their services to administrators and policymakers to ensure that every aspect of the education sector is captured, especially when addressing the need for a safe and conducive school environment (Barsky, 2017).

Dignity and Worth of the Person

Social workers respect and uphold the dignity and worth of an individual (Barsky, 2017). As such, they are expected to treat every individual with care and respect by observing their differences, culture, and ethnic diversity. Therefore, social workers must focus on the affected population and address their needs (Barsky, 2017).

Final Status

The Bill’s final status is that school principals should report various enumerated acts that may be referred to as a misdemeanor to law enforcement. Additionally, they are expected to report to parents of students who are the subject of the incident. This means that students will be held liable and accountable for their actions; hence, the chances of a reduction in these cases are inevitable.


Akesson, B., Burns, V., & Hordyk, S. R. (2017). The place of place in social work: Rethinking the person-in-environment model in social work education and practice. Journal of Social Work Education53(3), 372-383.

Barsky, A. (2017). Ethics is alive! The 2017 NASW Code of Ethics: What’s new. New Social Worker.

Bogo, M. (2020). Achieving competence in social work through field education. In Achieving Competence in Social Work through Field Education. University of Toronto Press.

Bhuyan, R., Bejan, R., & Jeyapal, D. (2017). Social workers’ perspectives on social justice in social work education: When mainstreaming social justice masks structural inequalities. Social Work Education36(4), 373-390.

HB 4 School principles; incident reports, established, 2022 Virginia General Assembly, 2020 Reg. Session (VA, 2020.)

Meltzer, R., & Schwartz, A. (2018). Policy analysis as problem-solving: A flexible and evidence-based framework. Routledge.

Rooney, G. D., Rooney, R. H., Hepworth, D. H., & Strom-Gottfried, K. (2017). Direct social work practice: Theory and skills. Cengage Learning.

Thompson, N. (2020). Understanding social work: Preparing for practice. Red Globe Press.


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This assignment aims to briefly analyze a current social policy using vital elements of the Critical Theory Model for Social Welfare Policy Analysis (Segal, 2016) and consider the power dynamics and the value/ethical issues surrounding these tasks.

HB 4 School Principles-Incident Reports

HB 4 School Principles-Incident Reports

Select one bill considered by the current Virginia General Assembly or one considered within the past year. The Bill should address a policy issue relevant to social work practice and have implications for population groups with whom social workers intervene. The final product will be a professional analysis, including all these policy tasks in this order.

Executive Summary (a summary of what was contained and discovered during the analysis) (1 page, single-spaced).
Introduction to the analysis that also clearly identifies the Bill and the sponsor(s) (1/2 page).
About Critical Policy Analysis: State the purpose of a Critical Policy Analysis (according to Segal); be sure to connect the tenets of the critical perspective to the purpose of the analysis. (1/2 page)
Analysis: Compose a brief comment that addresses these selected Critical Policy Analysis (Segal) framework elements. Use these elements chosen as headings for the sections of your brief: Social Problem, Power Imbalance, Public Reaction, Legislative Intended Impact, and Affected Populations. (3.5 pages)
NASW Ethical Principles: Choose two NASW Ethical Principles (s) applicable to the Bill. Briefly explain and apply the ethical principles to the account. (1 page)
Final Status: Report the Bill’s final status and what this means for the future of this policy. (1 paragraph)
Formatting: The analysis should be no longer than seven pages double-spaced, not including the addition of a cover page and references page. Successful assignments will consist of at least eight references, scholarly or otherwise. Cite references in APA 7, and use the bolded text above as headings for your analysis.

TO CITE YOUR BILL: Cite the Bill on the reference page: SB 156 Fostering Futures program; established, 2020 Virginia General Assembly, 2020 Reg. Session (VA, 2020) And in-text citations should look like this: (SB 156, 2020)

Social Justice
Dignity and Worth of the Person
Importance of Human Relationships

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