Virginia - Hazing Policy: Policy or Plan Requirements

Policy Or Plan Requirements
Policy Type: 

State law requires districts to adopt hazing policies.

Code of Virginia § 18.2-56. Hazing unlawful; civil and criminal liability; duty of school, etc., officials; penalty.

It shall be unlawful to haze so as to cause bodily injury, any student at any school or institution of higher education.

Any person found guilty thereof shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Any person receiving bodily injury by hazing shall have a right to sue, civilly, the person or persons guilty thereof, whether adults or infants.

The president or other presiding official of any school or institution of higher eduction receiving appropriations from the state treasury shall, upon satisfactory proof of the guilt of any student hazing another student, sanction and discipline such student in accordance with the institution's policies and procedures. The institution's policies and procedures shall provide for expulsions or other appropriate discipline based on the facts and circumstances of each case and shall be consistent with the model policies established by the Department of Education or the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, as applicable. The president or other presiding official of any school or institution of higher education receiving appropriations from the state treasury shall report hazing which causes bodily injury to the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city in which such school or institution of higher education is, who shall take such action as he deems appropriate.

For the purposes of this section, "hazing" means to recklessly or intentionally endanger the health or safety of a student or students or to inflict bodily injury on a student or students in connection with or for the purpose of initiation, admission into or affiliation with or as a condition for continued membership in a club, organization, association, fraternity, sorority, or student body regardless of whether the student or students so endangered or injured participated voluntarily in the relevant activity.

Code of Virginia § 22.1-279.9. Development of programs to prevent crime and violence.

All school boards shall develop, in cooperation with the local law-enforcement agencies, juvenile and domestic relations court judges and personnel, parents, and the community at large, programs to prevent violence and crime on school property and at school-sponsored events, which shall include prevention of hazing. Activities designed to prevent the recurrence of violence and crime, including hazing, may include such interventions as education relating to Virginia's criminal law, school crime lines, peer mediation, conflict resolution, community service requirements, and any program focused on demonstrating the consequences of violence and crime. School boards are encouraged to develop and use a network of volunteer services in implementing these prevention activities.

Code of Virginia § 22.1-279.6. Board of Education guidelines and model policies for codes of student conduct; school board regulations.

C. Each school board shall include in its code of student conduct prohibitions against hazing and profane or obscene language or conduct. School boards shall also cite in their codes of student conduct the provisions of § 18.2-56, which defines and prohibits hazing and imposes a Class 1 misdemeanor penalty for violations, that is, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $ 2,500, either or both.

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