Monday, March 28, 2011

Fairfax schools consider recording student disciplinary hearings

Donna St. George
The Washington Post
March 27, 2011

A growing number of Fairfax school officials support the idea of creating audio recordings of student disciplinary proceedings as the district seeks to respond to parent complaints about fairness and tone in the hearing room.

The hearings, which have become a flash point in a debate over how students in trouble get punished in Fairfax, have been criticized by parents for being highly adversarial and straying from fact to suspicion.

Assistant Superintendent Barbara M. Hunter said Friday that both she and the hearings office support the concept of recording what happens during the system’s 600-plus such proceedings a year. Hunter said she could envision parents being given a tape or CD shortly after each hearing. Now, notes are taken during proceedings but are not intended as a transcript.

“We are listening very carefully to what the community is saying,” Hunter said. “One of the ideas that has emerged is this notion of recording the hearings, and we would welcome that. We think the idea is very workable.”

Read more HERE.

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