Senate Bill No. 592
(By Senators Palumbo, Stollings, Plymale, Unger, Browning, Minard, Foster, Wells, Fanning, Jenkins, Tucker and Kessler (Acting President))
[Introduced February 21, 2011; referred to the Committee on Education.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18-9F-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-9F-9; and to amend and reenact §18-28-2 of said code, all relating to requiring that schools have crisis response plans; updating legislative findings and intent; establishing criteria for creating and updating crisis response plans; authorizing legislative rules to assist in devising requirements for crisis response plans; and requiring private, parochial and religious schools to create crisis response plans.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-9F-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-9F-9; and that §18-28-2 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 9F. SCHOOL ACCESS SAFETY AND CRISIS RESPONSE ACT.
§18-9F-1. Legislative findings and intent.
(a) The Legislature finds that:
(1) Establishing and maintaining safe and secure schools is critical to fostering a healthy learning environment and maximizing student achievement;
(2) All school facilities in the state should be designed, constructed, furnished and maintained in a manner that enhances a healthy learning environment and provides necessary safeguards for the health, safety and security of persons who enter and use the facilities;
(3) Adequate safeguards for the ingress to and egress from school facilities of pupils, school employees, parents, visitors and emergency personnel are critical to the overall safety of the public schools in this state;
(4) Safety upgrades to the means of ingress to and egress from school facilities for pupils, school employees, parents, visitors and emergency personnel must be part of a comprehensive analysis of overall school safety issues that takes into consideration the input of local law-enforcement agencies, local emergency services agencies, community leaders, parents, pupils, teachers, administrators and other school employees interested in the prevention of school crime and violence;
(5) In order to help ensure safety in all schools within the state and to be prepared to adequately respond to potential crises, including any traumatic event or emergency condition that creates distress, hardship, fear or grief, each school must create a comprehensive crisis response plan as detailed in section nine of this article.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to empower the School Building Authority to facilitate and provide state funds for the design, construction, renovation, repair and upgrading of facilities so as to enhance school access safety and provide secure ingress to and egress from school facilities to pupils, school employees, parents, visitors and emergency personnel.
§18-9F-9. Crisis Response Plan.
(a) The state board shall develop a model school crisis response plan for use by each school in the state by December 31, 2011. The state board shall review the model plan each year and make any necessary updates to the model plan by December 31 of each year.
(b) Each school within the state shall form a crisis response team consisting of the principal, two teachers, one service person, and two parents of children attending the school. The crisis response team may include one member of the county board, a school counselor, a member from local law-enforcement authorities, and one student in grade ten or higher if the school has those grades.
(c) Each school within the state, through the school’s crisis response team, shall develop 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 law- enforcement authorities, and any other local entities that the school’s crisis response team determines should be consulted: Provided, That a portion of any school access safety plan created pursuant to section three of this article may be used as a portion of the school specific crisis response plan if there are any overlapping requirements.
(d) Each school specific crisis response plan must be in place and filed with that school’s county board by August 1, 2012. Each school’s crisis response team shall annually review its crisis response plan and shall update the plan if necessary. 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 no later than August 1 of each year after 2012. The county board shall keep the current crisis response plan of each school on file and provide a copy of each school’s crisis response plan to each local agency that has a role in the plan. Upon request, a copy of a school crisis response plan shall be made available for inspection by the public. Starting with the 2012-2013 school year, 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 crisis response plan and the ability to review a copy at the county board.
(e) No later than December 31, 2011, the state board shall promulgate a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code regarding the required inclusions for each school specific crisis plan and which must include at least the following:
(1) The person in charge during a crisis and a designated substitute;
(2) A communication plan during a crisis;
(3) Protocols for responding to immediate physical harm of students, faculty, or staff and to traumatic events, including the period after the events have concluded;
(4) 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;
(5) Crisis procedures for safe entrance to and exit from the school by students, parents, and employees, including an evacuation and lock down plan; and
(6) Policies for enforcing school discipline and maintaining a safe and orderly environment during the crisis.
ARTICLE 28. PRIVATE, PAROCHIAL OR CHURCH SCHOOLS, OR SCHOOLS OF A RELIGIOUS ORDER.
§18-28-2. Attendance; health and safety regulations.
Each private, parochial or church school or school of a religious order shall observe a minimum instructional term of one hundred eighty days with an average of five hours of instruction per day, and shall make and maintain annual attendance and disease immunization records for each pupil enrolled and regularly attending classes. Such attendance records shall be made available to the parents or legal guardians. Upon the request of the county superintendent of schools, any school to which this applies (or a parents organization composed of the parents or guardians of children enrolled in said school) shall furnish to the county board of education a list of the names and addresses of all children enrolled in such school between the ages of seven and sixteen years. Attendance by a child at any school to which this article relates and which complies with this article shall satisfy the requirements of compulsory school attendance. Each such school shall be subject to reasonable fire, health and safety inspections by state, county and municipal authorities as required by law, and shall further be required to comply with the West Virginia school bus safety regulations. Each such school shall create a crisis response plan, as detailed in section nine, article nine-f of this chapter, and follow all requirements of the section and any rules promulgated under that section.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require that all K-12 schools have a crisis response plan in place.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
§18-9F-9 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.