NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk Public Schools tweaked its discipline policy ahead of the new school year.

On Wednesday, the School Board approved a change stating that students “shall attend an alternative school” after a suspension or expulsion, instead of the previous policy stating that “students may attend” such a school.

This came after the district received more than 20 public comments on the nearly 40-page document.

“While employed in an Norfolk elementary school, I witnessed violent kids do something on a day (hit teacher, hurt a fellow student) and was allowed back at school the next day. These policies need to be enforced,” said one commenter.

No other changes were made to the policy on Wednesday.

The policy states that there would be a hearing during the suspension or expulsion process. The superintendent could designate someone to speak with the student and the parent/guardian about what happened, as well as consult with school staff about learning the student’s disciplinary history.

From then, a long-term, short-term suspension or expulsion could be determined. Parents/guardians can request more hearings after that.

The document states that a long-term suspension could be at least 45 school days, but can’t be longer than a year. The short term could be 10 days or less.

However, Virginia law states students from preschool through third grade can’t be suspended for more than three school days or expelled from attendance at school unless the offense involves physical harm or threat of physical harm.