House Republicans Pass Legislation to Restore Mandatory Reporting of Sexual Battery in Schools

gshipley2022 General Assembly

Earlier today, the House of Delegates passed House Bill 4, a measure which repeals and repairs the worst parts of House Bill 257 (2020). Under current law, reporting of crimes such as sexual battery, stalking, oral threats to school personnel, and threats against the school are not required to be reported to law enforcement.

House Bill 4 reinstates mandatory reporting for those crimes, while continuing to allow discretion for principals to report misdemeanor alcohol, marijuana or drug offenses; Misdemeanor assault with bodily injury. Any felonies must continue to be reported to police.

Statement of Speaker Todd Gilbert:
“When House Bill 257 passed in 2020, it was clear that this bill would be a disaster for school safety. Parents were rightly outraged, and we immediately pledged that, if we were returned to the majority, we would fix this bill as soon as possible. Today, I’m proud to say we’ve taken the first steps toward fulfilling that promise by passing the bill over to the Senate.”

Statement of Education Committee Chairman Glenn Davis:
“This bill is a common-sense measure that will make our students and schools safer. There is room for a principal to use his or her discretion when a crime doesn’t harm or threaten others. But when someone commits sexual battery or threatens to blow up a school, police need to know. I’m proud to have helped our Republican team keep this promise.”

Statement of Del. Scott Wyatt, R-Mechanicsville, patron of HB 4:
“Parents spoke, and Republicans listened. That was the genesis of House Bill 4, and the reason House Republicans fought so hard to see it all the way through the process. And while I’m proud that we’ve passed the bill, I’m deeply concerned that there are still 40 House Democrats who voted against undoing this awful part of their 2020 agenda. I hope they’ll eventually listen to parents.”