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Virginia Set To Pass Historic Bill Giving Students Time Off To Protest — Because Teen Republicans And Democrats Teamed Up To Demand It

When Virginia’s largest school district began allowing students time off to protest in 2019, the backlash was swift and partisan: Conservative critics denounced Fairfax County Public Schools for coddling its too liberal, too sensitive youths and predicted kids would abuse the policy to play hooky.

A year later, though, the Virginia General Assembly is poised to pass legislation that will take Fairfax’s policy statewide, permitting more than 680,000 middle and high school students across 130-plus school systems one excused absence every year to “engage in a civic event.” Remarkably for a hyperpartisan era, the historic bill has garnered bipartisan support — and it’s all due to a collaboration between a handful of teenagers from both sides of the aisle.