H. B. 4125
(By Delegates M. Poling, Paxton, Perry, Moye and Fragale)
[Passed March 6, 2012; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact §18-9F-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to modifying when the requirement for schools to annually send notices to parents and guardians about the school’s crisis response plan and their ability to review a redacted copy becomes effective.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-9F-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 9F. SCHOOL ACCESS SAFETY ACT.
§18-9F-9. Crisis Response Plan.
(a) The state board in conjunction with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management shall promulgate by December 31, 2011, a legislative rule in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, and if necessary may promulgate an emergency rule in accordance with said article, for the establishment of an up-to-date, school specific crisis response plan at every school in the state. In developing the rule, the state board shall consider plans currently being developed as part of the safe schools initiative currently underway by the School Building Authority and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. In addition, those portions of a school’s access safety plan created pursuant to section three of this article may be used as a portion of the school’s school specific crisis response plan if there are any overlapping requirements. The rule shall provide for at least the following:
(1) A model school crisis response plan for use by each school in the state, including a uniform template which shall be used by each school to file the plan, including at least the following information, in a secure electronic system identified by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management:
(A) The school employee in charge during a crisis and a designated substitute;
(B) A communication plan to be used during a crisis;
(C) Protocols for responding to immediate physical harm of students, faculty or staff and to traumatic events, including the period after the events have concluded;
(D) Disaster and emergency procedures to respond to earthquakes, fire, flood, other natural disasters, explosions or other events or conditions in which death or serious injury is likely;
(E) Crisis procedures for safe entrance to and exit from the school by students, parents, and employees, including an evacuation and lock down plan; and
(F) Policies and procedures for enforcing school discipline and maintaining a safe and orderly environment during the crisis.
(2) A requirement that each school’s school specific crisis response plan shall be in place and filed with that school’s county board, and included in a secure electronic system identified by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, no later than August 1, 2013, or soon after completion by the school, whichever occurs first;
(3) The necessary safeguards to protect information contained in each school specific crisis response plan that may be considered protected critical infrastructure information, law enforcement sensitive information or for official use only. These safeguards must have the approval the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. County boards shall provide the same necessary safeguards for the information in the plan;
(4) The annual review and necessary update of the model plan and uniform template by state board in conjunction with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management by December 31 of each year after 2011;
(5) The development by each school of a school specific crisis response plan by using the state board’s model plan as an example and with consultation from local social services agencies, local first response agencies including police, fire, emergency medical services (EMS), emergency management and any other local entities that the school’s crisis response planning team determines should be consulted;
(6) Procedures for the annual review and update if necessary by each school of its school specific crisis response planning plan. Each school shall file either an updated crisis response plan or a memorandum stating that no update to the crisis response plan was necessary with its county board and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management no later than August 1 of each year after 2013.
(7) Procedures for each school within the state to form a crisis response planning team, which team may consist of the school’s Local School Improvement Council or a separate team consisting of the principal, two teachers, one service person and two parents of children attending the school. In addition the school may include on the team one member of the county board, a school counselor, a member from local law-enforcement authorities, the local county emergency services director and one student in grade ten or higher if the school has those grades;
(8) Procedures for informing and training school personnel on any actions required of them to effectuate the school’s school specific crisis response plan;
(9) A model template for redacted copies of the school crisis response plan for the public inspection and for the release and notice to parents of information related to the plan; and
(10) Procedures for non public schools to establish, file and update school crisis response plans consistent with subdivision (1) subsection (a) of this section.
(b) The county board shall keep the current crisis response plan of each school in the county on file and, unless otherwise provided for, provide a copy of each school’s crisis response plan to each local emergency response agency that has a role in the plan. Local emergency response agencies that maintain a copy of the plan shall provide the necessary safeguards for the information in the plan established pursuant to the state board rule promulgated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. Upon request, a redacted copy of a school crisis response plan shall be made available for inspection by the public with any information removed that is necessary for compliance with the necessary safeguards. Following the filing of it’s school specific crisis response plan with the county board pursuant to subdivision (2), subsection (a) of this section, each school shall annually send notice home to all parents and guardians of students at the school alerting the parents and guardians to the existence of the plan and the ability to review a redacted copy at the offices of the county board.