Petition Closed
Petitioning Chesterfield County School Board and 15 others

Chesterfield County Public School System, VA - James River High School: Please Provide Fairness, Educational Rights & Equivalent Options

Please Provide Fairness, Educational Rights & Equivalent Options

Please reflect on “No Child Left Behind”, to watch an Honor's student learning capability rapidly deteriorate due to unjust punishment which will tarnish my daughter’s future educational endeavors is horrific. When you place a child out of their accustomed learning environment for an extended period time their mental health and competitive learning ability disintegrates. Please make it a practice to review student suspensions on a case by case basis and rembember that the resolution should be to have students evolve and grow with educational wealth.

Letter to
Chesterfield County School Board
House of Delegates Delegate D McQuinn
House of Delegates Delegate R Minchew
and 13 others
Administrator of Pupil Placement/Student Conduct Robert Talley
Chesterfield County, VA - James River High School James River High School: Please Provide Fairness, Educational Rights & Equivalent Options
House of Delegates M. Kirkland "Kirk" Cox (R)
House of Delegates Roxann L. Robinson
State Senate Henry L. Marsh III
State Senate John Watkins (R)
Board of Supervisors - Midlothian Daniel A. Gecker (I)
Virginia Governor
Virginia State Senate
Virginia State House
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives
Acting Director Dr. Joe Tylus

I write this letter with a grave concern as a parent of a Chesterfield County, VA Public School student.
Children are warranted to make mistakes in their life but as educators, parents and guardians I feel that we should try to bring challenges that the youth face full circle. All adults should be engaged in the learning process and apply the best practices for the interest of the student.
My daughter Chase Mitchell was suspended from school for an unfortunate physical altercation that took place on October 31, 2013 where she was confronted and assaulted in her classroom by another student who was out of place and not in her assigned classroom. While my daughter did engage in the altercation after having her personal space invaded I am a firm believer that altercations should be avoided at all cost and I actively engage beliefs of this nature with my child.
While every action has a consequence, who determines if the consequence is too severe and unjust?
My 15 year old daughter is a Dean’s list student who is enrolled in Honor’s classes and she has never been suspended for fighting. The administration at James River High School threw the book at her as if she had the ill will and intent of a common criminal of which she did not!
My concern concentrates on after warranted mistakes are made by my daughter and other children. Being that it was recommended by principal at James River High School for Chase to be suspended out of school for the remainder of the 2013/2014 school year after her initial 10 day out of school suspension and partially upheld by the Chesterfield County Office of Student Conduct superintendent designee for her stay out school to last until Jan 24, 2014 is unfounded based upon the facts of the ordeal.
Chase was placed in an alternative high school stated to be the only option where she can only take her core classes that are not equivalent to the honor core classes that she was taking at James River High School and the downgrade in quality of Chase’s educational experience at Connections Academy has put her at risk of academic failure. When enrolled Chase was the only female student in the school which meets Monday – Thursday from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. This learning environment is not conducive to Chase’s learning ability. It has put her in psychological and emotional harm's way, and, in the long run, it has put her at even greater risk of forfeiting access to post-secondary educational opportunities that her academic performance has to date qualified her for. As Chase is college bound and plans to pursue a career in medicine a suspension for the entirety of the second nine weeks would be devastating to her future education and career plans.
As a single parent who currently works three jobs to keep my child zoned for academic school excellence and has to come out of pocket to pay lawyer expenses to fight for my child’s educational rights is an unfair action. This case has been appealed to the Chesterfield County School Board to be reviewed on December 16, 2013. Chase's school is part of the Midlothian district which is currently seeking to fill vacant position. While the school and administration are protected by sovereign and governmental immunity, what right or protections do the students have afforded to them? What happens to the parent’s that cannot afford the means to challenge the Chesterfield County School administration, who advocates for them and their children?
Again, as a single parent this is why I work so hard to maintain lifestyle of self-assurance and opt to reside in a demographic school area zoned for excellence.
Please understand my predicament as a parent and other Chesterfield County Public School parents as I do the faculty and board designees and board members, it's in my hopes that we can reach a mutually beneficial interest and learn to grow and stay engaged for the educational prosperity for Chase and the student body of James River High School.
Is this in the best interest for the future of our children, please read and share my family’s story. I would not want any other child in a Chesterfield County, VA public school who made one mistake hinder their educational rights nor their future.
Please make it a practice to review student suspensions on a case by case basis and rembember that the resolution should be to have students evolve and grow with educational wealth and optional equivalent options.
Please help me be an advocate for not just my child but for all of Chesterfield's County Public School student body. Please help me share my story.
The Chesterfield County School Board can be reached at:
Chesterfield County Public Schools
Administration Building
9900 Krause Road
Chesterfield, VA 23832 or

P.O. Box 10
Chesterfield, VA 23832
(804) 748-1405
Citizens can e-mail Board Members at
Citizens can call Board Members at the following phone numbers:
Marcus J. Newsome, Ed.D, Superintendent

Dr. James Schroeder (Acting), Midlothian District
P.O. Box 10
Chesterfield, VA 23832
(804) 748-1405

Carrie E. Coyner, Bermuda District
(804) 839-7117 (voice mail) or
Dianne H. Smith, Clover Hill District
(804) 839.7121 (voice mail) or
David S. Wyman, Chairman Dale District
(804) 839-7120 (voice mail)

Thomas J. Doland, Matoaca District
(804) 839-7118 (voice mail) or
For more information, please contact Carol Timpano or

Lelia Grant started this petition with a single signature, and now has 217 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.