Virginia Senate overwhelmingly passes anti-bullying bill
The Virginia Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill Monday that sets in place a framework for local school boards to follow when crafting and adopting policies and procedures aimed at curbing bullying in Virginia schools. After the Senate adopted some technical amendments, the measure, HB1871, passed the Senate by a 37-3 vote, with Sen. Dick Black (R-Loudoun, Prince William counties), a vocal opponent of LGBT rights; Sen. Thomas Garrett (R-Lynchburg, Appomattox, Amherst, Buckingham, Cumberland, Prince Edward counties); and Sen. Charles Carrico Sr. (R-Bristol, Grayson, Washington, Smyth, Wythe, Scott, Lee counties) voting against the bill. All three had initially voted against it in committee. A prior version of the bill, without the technical amendments, passed the House 93-6 earlier this month. The Senate bill containing the amendments will now be placed on the House calendar so that the body may vote on the Senate amendments. The bill is expected to pass by a similarly large margin, after which it will be sent to Gov. Bob McDonnell (R).