News and Events
Check back often to keep up to date on Virginia Rules activities and news.
Resource Officer Basic and School Security Officer Certification
The Virginia Center for School Safety at the Department of Criminal Justice Services will be conducting four School Resource Officer (SRO) Basic Training and School Security Officer (SSO) Certification Trainings. Training is intended for:
- Current and future School Resource officers
- School Security Officer personnel
- School Administrators
Sessions are currently scheduled for:
- March 25 - 28, 2013, Chesterfield VA
- June 24 - 27, 2013, Norfolk VA
- July 9 - 12, 2013, Ashburn VA
- Oct. 15 - 18, 2013, Roanoke VA
Virginia Rules Overview Training
The Office of the Attorney General and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services are pleased to announce upcoming overview training in the law-related education for teens program, "Virginia Rules." Training is intended for middle and high school
- School Administrators
- School Security Officers (SSOs)
- School Resource Officers (SROs)
The training will be held on May 1, 2013 at the Richmond Police Academy.
Newport News police aim at gang issue in middle schools
January 2013 -- Middle school students are the focus of a new program by the Newport News Police Department designed to keep youth away from gangs and out of trouble.
School resource officers are reaching out to eighth-graders in the city's eight middle schools in a classroom-based program aimed at educating students on the dangers of gangs. The prevention course is based on a state program titled Virginia Rules, which is sponsored by the state Attorney's General Office to educate students on the law and how it relates to teens. Read more »
Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II and George Mason University have introduced innovative educational mobile games for children to learn about the dangers of gangs.
The mobile games were designed and developed by students in the Computer Game Design Program at George Mason.
Read more about the project in this May 2012 Washington Post article.
Public Schools and Public Safety: A Conversation to Address the Impact of Community Violence on Schools
The Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Public Safety and the Department of Criminal Justice Services hosted a Forum entitled: Public School and Public Safety Partnerships: A Conversation to Address the Impact of Community Violence on Schools in December 2012 in Charlottesville, VA.
2012 Anti Gang Training Initiatives
Several anti-gang training opportunities were offered around Virginia in 2012, including:
- Virginia Community and Law Enforcement Gang Training
- Basic Training for Street Gang Investigators
- Gang Intelligence for Law Enforcement in Virginia Roundtable
Local Virginia Rules Initiative Nominated for Award
A Virginia Rules Initiative by the Office of the Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney has been selected as a finalist for the Norfolk Education Foundation’s Collaborative Award via its A+ Community Partners Program.
In June 2011 nearly three dozen local criminal justice and public safety professionals taught a lesson from Virginia Rules to more than 1,300 8th grade students at various Norfolk schools.The effort was a collaboration with numerous local criminal justice organizations and required significant planning, especially the coordination of busy, complicated schedules.
The winners will be announced at a dinner program in November.
Virginia Tech study shows drivers who write text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to crash
RICHMOND (October 27, 2011) - In response to a study which shows drivers who write text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to crash than non-texting drivers, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has joined other state attorneys general, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Ad Council today to unveil a new public service announcement campaign, urging young adults to "Stop the texts and stop the wrecks."
The campaign includes TV, radio, outdoor, and digital PSAs. In an effort to extend the campaign messages virally on the Internet, new Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube social media channels go live today. All of the PSAs direct audiences to stoptextsstopwrecks.org, a new Web site where teens and young adults can find facts about the impact of texting while driving, as well as tips for how to curb the behavior. The Web site also has an area where individuals can share on Facebook what they are doing to stop texting while driving.
According to a national survey conducted by the Ad Council, 82 percent of young adult drivers aged 16-24 have read a text message while driving. Additionally, NHTSA reports that 16 percent of all drivers younger than age 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) reports that a texting driver is 23 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-texting driver. Distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens.
The Ad Council's national survey released today also found that 75 percent of young adult drivers have sent a text message while driving; 49 percent have done it multiple times. 50 percent of respondents said that during the past month, they have been a passenger when a friend was texting while driving.
"Raising awareness about the dangers facing kids today, including distracted driving, is an important part of my job, not only as attorney general, but as a father," said Cuccinelli. "It is natural for kids to think they are invincible, but the reality is, they are not. This new PSA campaign will teach them that there are very real dangers-some fatal-associated with texting and driving."
"Research has shown that using a cell phone delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of 0.08," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council.
"Distracted driving is dangerous, and tragically, teen drivers are the most at risk of being involved in a fatal distracted driving crash," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We hope our new ad campaign will send a strong message to teens that putting away cell phones and other distractions while you are driving is not just commonsense safe behavior, it can save your life."
"The PSAs communicate to teens and adults that texting while driving is not multitasking, but essentially driving blind. By taking your eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, you are making the road less safe for you, your passengers, and other drivers," said Cuccinelli.
The online survey, commissioned by the Ad Council, was conducted in partnership with C + R Research. Research was conducted nationwide from September 15, 2011, to September 23, 2011. The sample consisted of 1,004 teens and young adults between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four. All respondents were required to hold a U.S. driver's license, drive at least once per week, and have a mobile phone.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli teaches Norfolk area high school students basic criminal law principles and how to apply those principles to real-life scenarios.
RICHMOND (October 18, 2011) -- Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli today taught a group of Norfolk area high school students basic criminal law principles, as well as how to apply those principles to real-life scenarios. The curriculum, which he taught at the Norfolk Technical Center, is part of the attorney general's Virginia Rules program for students.
Virginia Rules is Virginia's new legal education program for middle and high school students. The purpose of the curriculum is to educate young people about Virginia laws and help them develop skills needed to make sound decisions, avoid breaking laws, and become engaged citizens in their schools and communities.
The Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney's Office helped bring Virginia Rules to the community as a way to reach out to schools and recreation centers in the Norfolk area to help teens become active participants in public safety. "I feel strongly that community outreach is an important component of criminal prosecution," said Greg Underwood, Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney. "Citizens of all ages need to know that they're an integral part of the public safety and criminal justice system by being a responsive witness, being forthcoming with information about crimes, staying out of trouble, and serving jury duty when called. Virginia Rules definitely helps the prosecutors in this office teach those important life lessons."
"The Norfolk Virginia Rules program is setting a wonderful example for other communities across the commonwealth," said Cuccinelli. "I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the curriculum to a group of such bright and driven teenagers."
From left to right: Chad Maclin, Program Manager, Trade and Industrial Education, Fairfax County Public Schools; Attorney General Ken Cucinelli; Danny McNamara, Level 2 Criminal Justice Student, Robinson Secondary School; Diane Pruner, Director, Office of Professional and Life Skills, Fairfax County Public Schools; and Mike Birch, Criminal Justice Teacher, Robinson Secondary School
RICHMOND (September 30, 2011) -- Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli taught 60 Fairfax County high school students today basic criminal law principles, as well as how to apply those principles to real-life scenarios. The curriculum was taught at Robinson Secondary School and is part of the attorney general's Virginia Rules program.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli taught 60 Fairfax County high school students today basic criminal law principles, as well as how to apply those principles to real-life scenarios. The curriculum was taught at Robinson Secondary School and is part of the attorney general's Virginia Rules program.
Virginia Rules is Virginia's new legal education program for middle and high school students. The purpose of Virginia Rules is to educate young people about Virginia laws and help them develop skills needed to make sound decisions, avoid breaking laws, and become active citizens in their schools and communities.
Virginia Rules is built upon the success of Virginia's Class Action Program, initiated in 1996-97 and administered by the Office of the Attorney General. The Class Action curriculum was designed to be taught by law enforcement officers and focused on the criminal justice system, with particular emphasis on how Virginia laws apply to teens.
The attorney general joined regular instructors Mike Birch, a retired Fairfax County sheriff, and Ron Miller, a retired Fairfax County police officer, to teach basic legal principles to students interested in pursuing careers in law or law enforcement.
"Criminal justice is the fastest growing trade and industrial program in Fairfax County," said Chad Maclin, Trade & Industrial Education program manager for Fairfax County Public Schools. "We enrolled nearly 2,000 students in the 2010-2011 school year."
The criminal justice curriculum is taught by instructors who are former police officers or sheriffs.
"It was a real honor to be teaching these kids today, especially at this particular school," said Cuccinelli. "The Robinson teachers were early adopters of Virginia Rules, and this school continues to be instrumental in its implementation across criminal justice programs in the commonwealth."
Virginia Rules Camp a Success
During the summer of 2011, the Office of the Attorney General partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond (BGCMR) and the Richmond Police Department (RPD) to hold a Virginia Rules Camp for at-risk youth from different areas of Richmond City and from the Gang Reduction and Intervention Program (GRIP) target areas. There were 37 staff and volunteers from the OAG, community organizations, the Police Athletic League, as well as School Resource Officers trained on the Virginia Rules curriculum to teach campers about Virginia’s laws and the consequences of violating those laws. In addition to learning the Virginia Rules curriculum, young people from the GRIP target areas enjoyed canoeing, fishing, swimming, archery, and hiking with volunteer police officers and OAG employees.
There were four lesson plans taught, Civil and Criminal Law Basics, Technology and You (formally called Internet Safety), and Gangs. Fifty kids attended camp.
During the 2011 School Safety Conference in August in Hampton, Virginia Rules presented Scott Whirley with a brand new iPad. Whirley, a School Resource Officer with the Colonial Heights Police Department, was one of 70 participants in an online survey of registered Virginia Rules members. He completed a needs assessment to determine which Virginia Rules curriculum units would be most appropriate to teach his students in the coming months. His name was randomly drawn from the pool of participants.
Whirley has been teaching Virginia Rules for two years. On receiving the iPad, Whirley said "I wanted to again thank you for the iPad and for inviting me to the conference to present it to me. The iPad is awesome! I have put Va Rules on my iPad and iPhone. Va Rules is a great program and I am happy to be a small link in this program. "
Congrats again Scott!
2011 Virginia School and Campus Safety Training Forum
The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services sponsored the 2011 Virginia School and Campus Safety Training Forum. In partnership with the Virginia State Police, this year’s Forum was held in conjunction with the Annual State Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.).
Va. program used to warn kids away from crime
June 7, 2011 -- NORFOLK -- On a rainy night in 2006, Jade Young and a friend stood watch at a bedroom window as two other friends terrorized and robbed a 90-year-old man. Read more »
Virginia's Attorney General teaches Virginia Rules
April 15, 2011 -- Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli visited a high school classroom Thursday and laid out his position on issues related to the death penalty and the punishment for animal abuse versus domestic abuse. Read more »
Resources for safe spring celebrations
April 12, 2011 -- Adults involved in events like prom and graduation know that safety is a significant concern. These resources offer tips and techniques for safe and happy celebrations. Read more »
AG's speaker gives kids word to the wise on Internet
March 17, 2011 -- Martinsville fifth-graders recently had an eye-opening lesson on Internet safety and how to protect themselves from online predators and bullies. Gene Fishel, senior assistant attorney general and chief of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office’s computer crimes section, gave presentations at Albert Harris and Patrick Henry elementary schools Friday about responsible use of the Internet, social networking sites and cell phones. Read more »
Virginia Rules subject of recent VDOE Superintendent's Memo
On Feb 4, 2011, Virginia Rules was the subject of Patricia Wright's Superintendent's Memo. The memo mentioned the site as a resource for law-related information for Virginia middle- and high-schoolers, and touted the new Virginia Juvenile Law Handbook for School Administrators. Read the memo here »
Training held in First Quarter 2011
School Resource Officer Basic and School Security Officer Certification Combined Training Course was held Feb 7-10, 2011 in Chesterfield. A successful Virginia Rules training session was held on Feb. 16 2011 in Fairfax County. The Weyer's Cave trainings scheduled for March 2 was cancelled.
Advanced School Resource Officer and School Administrator Training was also held in Disputanta and Roanoke in March and in Newport News and Manassas in April.
Virginia Rules training held in December 2010
While the training session scheduled for Dec. 17 in Fredericksburg had to be cancelled because of inclement weather, the Virginia Rules training in Henrico County was held as planned on Dec. 20 to a full house.
Capital Region Grant Collaboration Meeting
On Thursday, December 9, 2010, the Office of the Attorney General hosted the Capital Region Grant Collaboration Group meeting. Virginia Rules was the featured program. Jane Brown, the Director of Community Partnerships with the Office of the Governor, and John E. Hall, the Field Office Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Richmond, were the guest speakers. Jane spoke on the collaboration efforts that brought about 1.5 million dollars in reentry funding to the Commonwealth. John spoke on Sustainable Communities -- real collaboration between programs across the community spectrum, from bricks and sticks to services.
The 2010 Virginia School and Campus Safety Training Forum
The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services held the 2010 Virginia School and Campus Safety Training Forum in Norfolk in July 2010.
Virginia Rules, A Law Related Education Program Scheduled for August 2010
The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services in cooperation with the Office of the Attorney General conducted overview training in the new law-related education for teens program, Virginia Rules in late August.
School Resource Officer Basic and School Security Officer Certification Combined Training Course
The Virginia Center for School Safety at the Department of Criminal Justice Services, in collaboration with the Newport News Police Department, conducted a regional combined School Resource Officer (SRO) Basic and School Security Officer (SSO) Certification Training in August 2010, in Newport News, VA.
Virginia Rules training held in March 2010
Four training sessions were held in March 2010 around the state and offered teachers, school administrators, and school resource officers (SROs) serving middle and high schools an introduction and overview of the Virginia Rules Program. These training sessions were held in Manassas, Weyers Cave, Abingdon and Roanoke.
Virginia Rules training in 2009 a success
Two training sessions were held in early December 2009 and offered teachers, school administrators, and school resource officers (SROs) serving middle and high schools an introduction and overview of the Virginia Rules Program. More training sessions are planned for 2010.
|Chesterfield Training, December 2009||Virginia Beach Training, December 2009|
Dear Fellow Virginians:
Thank you for visiting our new Virginia Rules website. Virginia Rules provides character education and teaches children their rights and responsibilities as citizens of the Commonwealth. We hope you find these resources to be helpful and informative.
Virginia Rules is a law-related educational program facilitated primarily by law enforcement professionals for middle and high school students and their parents. It provides a basic understanding of state law that governs socially acceptable behavior in the home, in school, and in the community By educating our students about citizenship and the consequences of unlawful behavior, we can reduce crime, violence and substance abuse.
Whether you are a parent, a student or a teacher, we value your opinion. Please click the “Contact Us” button above and share any ideas you may have on ways we might improve Virginia Rules.
Again, thank you for visiting and your interest in giving our students more tools to help build a better tomorrow for all Virginians.
Virginia Rules Launches Website
(Hampton, VA - July 28, 2009): Virginia Rules, a law-related educational program facilitated primarily by law enforcement professionals for our school children, today launched an interactive website, providing up-to-date instructional materials in an easy to use, electronic format. The website was unveiled at the 2009 Virginia School & Campus Safety Training Forum in Hampton, Virginia.
Virginia Rules provides a basic understanding of state law that governs socially acceptable behavior in the home, in school, and in the community for middle and high school students and their parents. By educating our students about citizenship and the short and long term consequences of unlawful behaviors, we reduce crime, violence and substance abuse in Virginia.
Virginia Rules provides character education and teaches children their rights and responsibilities as citizens of the Commonwealth. Children are encouraged to care about the quality of life in their schools, their homes, and their communities.