H. B. 3225
(By Delegates M. Poling, Paxton, Perry, Ennis,
Pethtel, Shaver, Moye, Smith,
Lawrence and L. Phillips)
(Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary)
[February 25, 2011]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18-2C-2 and §18-2C-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to harassment, intimidation or bullying of students; expanding the definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying; expanding the areas where harassment, intimidation and bullying are prohibited to include school buses and school bus stops; and requiring county board and West Virginia Department of Education policies regarding harassment, intimidation or bullying.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-2C-2 and §18-2C-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2C. HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION OR BULLYING PROHIBITION.
(a) As used in this article, “harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any intentional gesture, or any intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act, communication, transmission or threat that:
(a) (1) A reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effect of any one or more of the following:
(1) (A) Physically harming a student;
(2) (B) Damaging a student’s property;
(3) (C) Placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person; or
(4) (D) Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to his or her property; or
(b) (2) Is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or emotionally abusive educational environment for a student; or
(3) Disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school.
(b) As used in this article, an electronic act, communication, transmission or threat includes but is not limited to one which is administered via telephone, wireless phone, computer, pager or any electronic or wireless device whatsoever, and includes but is not limited to transmission of any image or voice, email or text message using any such device.
§18-2C-3. Policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying.
(a) Each county board of education shall establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying. Each county board has control over the content of its policy as long as the policy contains, at a minimum, the requirements of subdivision (b) of this section. The policy shall be adopted through a process that includes representation of parents or guardians, school employees, school volunteers, students and community members.
(b) Each county board policy shall, at a minimum, include the following components:
(1) A statement prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying of any student on school property, a school bus, at a school bus stop or at school sponsored events;
(2) A definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying no less inclusive than that in section two of this article;
(3) A procedure for reporting prohibited incidents;
(4) A requirement that school personnel report prohibited incidents of which they are aware;
(5) A requirement that parents or guardians of any student involved in an incident prohibited pursuant to this article be notified;
(6) A procedure for documenting any prohibited incident that is reported;
(7) A procedure for responding to and investigating any reported incident;
(8) A strategy for protecting a victim from additional harassment, intimidation or bullying, and from retaliation following a report;
(9) A disciplinary procedure for any student guilty of harassment, intimidation or bullying; and
(10) A requirement that any information relating to a reported incident is confidential, and exempt from disclosure under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-b of this code.
(c) Each county board shall adopt the policy and submit a copy to the State Superintendent of Schools by December 1, 2001 2011.
(d) To assist county boards in developing their policies, the West Virginia Department of Education shall develop a model policy applicable to grades kindergarten through twelfth. The model policy shall be issued by September 1, 2001 2011.
(e) Notice of the county board’s policy shall appear in any student handbook, and in any county board publication that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures and standards of conduct for the school.