Black students face disproportionately higher rates of disorderly conduct charges in Virginia, report shows

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(WFXR) — A new report out this week shows African-American students in Virginia schools are more at risk for being drawn into the state’s criminal justice system.

The report from the Legal Aid Justice Center shows the number of disorderly conduct cases filed by school resource officers increased 45% over the past four years – up from 360 in 2016 to 523 in 2019.

The Center also found black students had a disproportionate share of the charges, representing 22% of the school population, but receiving more than 60% of criminal complaints.

Some students were charged for actions like:

  • Cutting in a lunch line
  • Running or shouting in a cafeteria
  • Singing on a school bus
  • Pushing past a teacher to get onto a school bus
  • Yelling or cursing at other students or teachers

Authors for the study are calling for the repeal of the school-based portion of state disorderly-conduct laws.

H.B 1685, a bill that looked to do just that was introduced earlier this year.

It was tabled by a House of Delegates subcommittee in January.

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