State law requires districts to adopt anti-bullying policies addressing some U.S. Department of Education-recommended policy requirements.
This page addresses bullying prevention policies
Code of Virginia § 22.1-207.2:1. Anti-bullying or suicide prevention materials; parental right to review
Each school board shall develop and implement policies that ensure that parents have the right to review any audio-visual materials that contain graphic sexual or violent content used in any anti-bullying or suicide prevention program. Such policies shall require that prior to using any such material, the parent of the child participating in such a program shall be provided written notice of his right to review the material and his right to excuse his child from participating in the part of such program utilizing such material.
Code of Virginia § 22.1-208.01. Character education required
Classroom instruction may be used to supplement a character education program; however, each program shall be interwoven into the school procedures and environment and structured to instruct primarily through example, illustration, and participation, in such a way as to complement the Standard of Learning. The program shall also address the inappropriateness of bullying, as defined in § 22.1-276.01.
Code of Virginia § 22.1-279.6. Board of Education guidelines and model policies for codes of student conduct; school board regulations.
A. The Board of Education shall establish guidelines and develop model policies for codes of student conduct to aid local school boards in the implementation of such policies. The guidelines and model policies shall include, but not be limited to, (i) criteria for the removal of a student from a class, the use of suspension, expulsion, and exclusion as disciplinary measures, the grounds for suspension and expulsion and exclusion, and the procedures to be followed in such cases, including proceedings for such suspension, expulsion, and exclusion decisions and all applicable appeals processes; (ii) Standard, consistent with state, federal and case laws, for school board policies on alcohol and drugs, gang-related activity, hazing, vandalism, trespassing, threats, search and seizure, disciplining of students with disabilities, intentional injury of others, self-defense, bullying, the use of electronic means for purposes of bullying, harassment, and intimidation, and dissemination of such policies to students, their parents, and school personnel; and (iii) Standard for in-service training of school personnel in and examples of the appropriate management of student conduct and student offenses in violation of school board policies. In accordance with the most recent enunciation of constitutional principles by the Supreme Court of the United States of America, the Board's Standard for school board policies on alcohol and drugs and search and seizure shall include guidance for procedures relating to voluntary and mandatory drug testing in schools, including, but not limited to, which groups may be tested, use of test results, confidentiality of test information, privacy considerations, consent to the testing, need to know, and release of the test results to the appropriate school authority.
In the case of suspension and expulsion, the procedures set forth in this article shall be the minimum procedures that the school board may prescribe.
B. School boards shall adopt and revise, as required by Section 22.1-253.13:7 and in accordance with the requirements of this section, regulations on codes of student conduct that are consistent with, but may be more stringent than, the guidelines of the Board. School boards shall include, in the regulations on codes of student conduct, procedures for suspension, expulsion, and exclusion decisions and shall biennially review the model student conduct code to incorporate discipline options and alternatives to preserve a safe, nondisruptive environment for effective teaching and learning.
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 Section 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.
D. Each school board shall include in its code of student conduct policies and procedures that include a prohibition against bullying. Such policies and procedures shall (i) be consistent with the Standard for school board policies on bullying and the use of electronic means for purposes of bullying developed by the Board pursuant to subsection A and (ii) direct the principal to notify the parent of any student involved in an alleged incident of bullying of the status of any investigation within five school days of the allegation of bullying.
Such policies and procedures shall not be interpreted to infringe upon the First Amendment rights of students and are not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that such expression does not cause an actual, material disruption of the work of the school.
Code of Virginia § 22.1-291.4. Bullying and abusive work environments prohibited.
Each school board shall implement, by July 1, 2014, policies and procedures to educate school board employees about bullying, as defined in § 22.1-276.01, and the need to create a bully-free environment.
Model Policy to Address Bullying
This page addresses bullying prevention policies