State law requires districts to adopt comprehensive anti-bullying policies addressing all U.S. Department of Education-recommended policy requirements.
West Virginia Code 18-2C-1. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds that a safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic Standard. The Legislature finds that harassment, intimidation or bullying, like other disruptive or violent behavior, is conduct that disrupts both a student's ability to learn and a school's ability to educate its students in a safe, nonthreatening environment. The Legislature further finds that students learn by example. The Legislature charges school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers with demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation or bullying.
West Virginia Code 18-2C-3. Policy prohibiting harassment intimidation or bullying.
(a) Each county board 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 [§18-2C-2] 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;
- (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 [§§29B-1-1 et seq.] of this code; and
- (11) A requirement that each county board shall input into the uniform integrated regional computer information system (commonly known as the West Virginia Education Information System) described in section twenty-six [§18-2-26], article two of this chapter, and compile an annual report regarding the means of harassment, intimidation or bullying that have been reported to them, and the reasons therefor, if known. The West Virginia Department of Education shall compile the information and report it annually beginning July 1, 2012, to the Legislative Oversight Committee on Education Accountability.
(c) Each county board shall adopt the policy and submit a copy to the State Superintendent of Schools by December 1, 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, 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 Standard of conduct for the school.