2020 General Assembly Session

Student Activities and Athletic Programs Related Legislation

2020 General Assembly Summary
Student Activities and Athletic Programs Related Legislation
Fairfax County Public Schools, Office of Government Relations

This report describes all of the Student Activities and Athletic Programs-related legislation considered during the 2020 General Assembly Regular Session.  Bills are listed in one of three categories: Approved, Continued to 2021, or Failed. 

Approved legislation goes into effect on July 1, 2020 unless otherwise specified in the legislation itself.

Bills designated as “Continued to 2021” are effectively “Failed” for purposes of the 2020 Session, but can still be acted upon by the Committee that recommended continuing the legislation prior to the 2021 Session (by December 3, 2020).  Even if a bill were to be acted upon prior to that deadline (which rarely occurs), it would still have to proceed through the remainder of the legislative process (pass in both chambers, signed by the Governor) during the 2021 Session.

Summaries are linked to the Division of Legislative Services’ web pages for text, up to date summary information, and fiscal impact statements. If a bill of interest is not found in one category, please check another as legislation often can fit under multiple categories.

UPDATED:  March 30, 2020

Student Activities and Athletic Programs - PASSED

Advisory Board on Athletic Training; Membership HB 1260 (Hodges) provides that one member of the Advisory Board on Athletic Training shall be an athletic trainer who is currently licensed by the Board on Athletic Training who has practiced in the Commonwealth for not less than three years and is employed in the public or private sector.

Athletic Trainers; Naloxone or Other Opioid Antagonist HB 1261 (Hodges) authorizes licensed athletic trainers to possess and administer naloxone or other opioid antagonist for overdose reversal pursuant to an oral or written order or standing protocol issued by the prescriber within the course of his professional practice.

Student Journalists; Freedom of Speech and the Press HB 36 (Hurst) declares that, except in certain limited circumstances, a student journalist at a public institution of higher education has the right to exercise freedom of speech and the press in school-sponsored media, including determining the news, opinion, feature, and advertising content of school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the media is supported financially by the governing board of the institution, supported through the use of campus facilities, or produced in conjunction with a course in which the student is enrolled. The bill defines "school-sponsored media" as any material that is prepared, substantially written, published, or broadcast by a student journalist at a public institution of higher education under the direction of a student media adviser and distributed or generally made available to members of the student body.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention in Student-Athletes SB 463 (Reeves) directs the Board of Education to develop, biennially update, and distribute to each local school division guidelines on policies to inform and educate coaches, student-athletes, and student-athletes' parents or guardians about the nature and risk of sudden cardiac arrest, procedures for removal from and return to play, and the risks of not reporting symptoms. The bill also requires local school divisions to develop and biennially update policies and procedures regarding the identification and handling of symptoms that may lead to sudden cardiac arrest in student-athletes.

 

Student Activities and Athletic Programs – CONTINUED TO 2021

Student Journalists; Freedom of Speech and the Press SB 80 (Marsden) would declare that, except in certain limited circumstances, a student journalist at a public middle school or high school or public institution of higher education has the right to exercise freedom of speech and the press in school-sponsored media, including determining the news, opinion, feature, and advertising content of school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the media is supported financially by the school board or governing board, supported through the use of school or campus facilities, or produced in conjunction with a class or course in which the student is enrolled. The bill would define "school-sponsored media" as any material that is prepared, substantially written, published, or broadcast by a student journalist at a public middle school or high school or public institution of higher education under the direction of a student media adviser and distributed or generally made available to members of the student body.


STUDENT ACTIVITES AND ATHLETIC PROGRAMS - FAILED

Sports Officials; Person Who Commits Battery Against Official, Penalty HB 1665 (Hayes) would have provided that if any person commits a battery against another knowing or having reason to know that such other person is a sports official engaged in the performance of his duties as such, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A "sports official" would have been defined in the bill as a coach, umpire, referee, line judge, or other person employed or volunteering in a similar capacity during an amateur or professional sporting event.

Students Who Receive Home Instruction; Participation in Interscholastic Programs (“Tebow Bill”) HB 226 (Freitas) would have prohibited public schools from joining an organization governing interscholastic programs that does not deem eligible for participation a student who receives home instruction; has demonstrated evidence of progress for two consecutive academic years; is in compliance with immunization requirements; is entitled to free tuition in a public school; has not reached the age of 19 by August 1 of the current academic year; is an amateur who receives no compensation but participates solely for the educational, physical, mental, and social benefits of the activity; complies with all disciplinary rules and is subject to all codes of conduct applicable to all public high school athletes; and complies with all other rules governing awards, all-star games, maximum consecutive semesters of high school enrollment, parental consents, physical examinations, and transfers applicable to all high school athletes. The bill would have provided that no local school board is required to establish a policy to permit students who receive home instruction to participate in interscholastic programs. The bill would have permitted reasonable fees to be charged to students who receive home instruction to cover the costs of participation in such interscholastic programs, including the costs of additional insurance, uniforms, and equipment. The bill would have had an expiration date of July 1, 2025.