WASHINGTON – Two years after the suicide of a Fairfax County high school student who faced stiff discipline, a special committee recommends significant changes to the county’s “zero tolerance” approach to troubled students.
Efforts to reform the Fairfax County “zero tolerance” discipline program began seven years ago but picked up substantial support after the suicide of 15-year-old Woodson High student Nick Stuban.
Stuban was suspended and recommended for expulsion from school for a minor drug infraction, but his parents were never informed by the school district.
Caroline Hemenway, co-founder of Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform, served on the ad hoc committee that recommended changes Wednesday night to the school board. She says requiring parental notification when a student faces school discipline is a cornerstone of the changes.
“I would say that if all of these recommendations are implemented with integrity we can call it ‘Fairfax Tolerance’,” says Hemenway.