Lynchburg City Schools considering allowing volunteers with felony records

Local News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The Lynchburg City School Board is considering a change to its volunteer policy that would allow people with a felony on their records to be considered on a case by case basis to be allowed to volunteer.

According to the district, 22 potential volunteers were rejected this school year because of felonies.

Robert Flood says he has a lot he can teach Lynchburg students.

“I think if I can stop someone from going the way I went,” he said, “I know I can make a difference.”

He says he had a drug charge on his record from the 1980s when he was hired by the district as a substitute in the early 1990s.

He later went on to grad school for criminal justice, but in 2014, he tried to volunteer as a basketball coach and was rejected.

“Haha yeah, that’s what I couldn’t understand.”

He’s been trying for five years to change the district’s policy banning people with felonies from volunteering.

“In the last couple of years, since she been here, the new superintendent, Dr. Edwards, it seems like they’re going forward.”

If adopted, the new policy would allow volunteers with felonies to be considered rather than automatically rejected.

“There are a series of questions and a flow chart, and the more you answer no, no, no, no, no, the higher up you go to a level one,” explained Edwards in the Board meeting on Tuesday, “Level one being a more highly likely that we would consider volunteering, although you would still have a conference.”

Joe Slette is the parent of an E.C. Glass high school student.

“I think it’s good,” he said. “I think everybody deserves a chance, even if they may have made a mistake in the past. That’s in the past, but a case by case basis, I think, is fair.”

At their meeting on Tuesday, the Board asked for legal consultation on the proposal before their next meeting in March.

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