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Governor Youngkin Issues Executive Order to Prevent Student Overdoses and Require Prompt Parental Notification 

In response to nine student overdoses at a Loudoun County high school just last month, Governor Glenn Youngkin has issued Executive Order Twenty-Eight. While the Loudoun County Public School division reportedly waited more than twenty days to notify parents to the overdose incidents, Governor Youngkin is taking immediate action to enhance prompt parental notification.

The order directs the Virginia Department of Education to issue guidance ensuring school divisions notify all parents of school-connected overdoses within 24 hours, work closely with law enforcement to prevent overdoses, and enhance student education about the dangers of abusing drugs.

“Parents have a right to know what’s going on in their child’s lives, especially in schools. Overdoses that occur on school grounds or are connected to the school must lead to an immediate parental notification,” said Youngkin. “School administrators’ first instinct when there is a problem cannot be to delay relevant information on critical children’s health and safety matters – it must be passed on to parents immediately. Opioid overdoses have claimed the lives of far too many Virginians, devastating families and communities across the Commonwealth and we must continue to combat opioid abuse and overdoses with action and transparency.”

The Governor’s executive order instructs Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Education to notify parents within twenty-four hours of a student overdose that has occurred within a school system. The order instructs the issuance of new guidance in coordination with law enforcement to prevent student overdoses and address the scourge of fentanyl on Virginia’s families and communities.

Acknowledging that transparency and community understanding of available resources are essential to ensuring the wellbeing of young Virginians, the order instructs the issuance of information to local school divisions and parents about drug education and prevention programs for students.

The One Pill Can Kill campaign led by the First Lady of Virginia and the Attorney General, along with the Attorney General’s Virginia Rules program will develop critical decision-making skills in Virginia’s children and help generate conversations around the dangers of counterfeit drugs and fentanyl.

On his first day in office, Governor Youngkin signed Executive Order Number 2 to reaffirm the fundamental rights of parents in the upbringing, education, and care of their children. In May 2023, Governor Glenn Youngkin issued Executive Order Number Twenty-Six to strengthen Virginia’s interdiction and response to the ongoing fentanyl and opioid crisis.

The Governor continues to address the ongoing behavioral health crisis with his transformational Right Help, Right Now plan to support individuals in crisis. In June, Governor Youngkin signed 24 bills into law delivering on his promise to deliver.

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