WEST virginia legislature
2019 regular session
Senate Bill 379
Senators Maynard, Azinger, Cline, Roberts, Tarr, Maroney, and Hamilton, original sponsors
[Originating in the Committee on Education; Reported on February 23, 2019]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18-2-7b of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to permitting the county boards of education to include faith-based electives in classroom drug prevention programs.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.
§18-2-7b. Programs in drug prevention and violence reduction.
(a) In order for the schools to become healthy learning environments and to provide a strong defense against drug use and violence, the State Board of Education shall prescribe programs within the existing health and physical education program which teach resistance and life skills to counteract societal and peer pressure to use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and shall include counselors, teachers, and staff in full implementation of the program. The board shall also prescribe programs to coordinate violence reduction efforts in schools and between schools and their communities and to train students, teachers, counselors, and staff in conflict resolution skills. The program shall be comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and shall begin in elementary school.
(b) No later than the start of the 2018-2019 school year, a county board shall implement comprehensive drug awareness and prevention programs for students in grades K through 12 to receive instruction regarding the dangers of substance abuse. The purpose of the drug awareness and prevention program is to:
(1) Keep students from illegally using alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs;
(2) Reduce or eliminate the incidence and prevalence of student’s alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse;
(3) Reduce the factors that place students at risk of abusing alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs through school and a community based planning processes;
(4) Contribute to the development of school environments and alternative activities that are alcohol, tobacco, and drug-free;
(5) Increase the knowledge and skills of students, staff, and community members for avoiding the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, and of blood borne pathogens;
(6) Actively involve staff, students, parents, and community members in the development and implementation of the drug awareness and prevention program plans;
(7) Facilitate an understanding and appreciation of the risks to, duties of, and likely actions by law-enforcement officers when conducting investigations; and
(8) Instruct how to respond to an officer during a vehicular or other stop or police interaction, including problematic or dangerous action and behaviors that could result in a person being detained or arrested.
(c) The county board shall coordinate the delivery of instruction to meet the purposes of subsection (b) of this section with educators, drug rehabilitation specialists, and law-enforcement agencies to periodically provide age appropriate student education on their experiences with the impacts of illegal alcohol and drug use.
(d) Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, instruction required pursuant to §18-2-9 of this code in the subject of health education in any of the grades six through 12 as considered appropriate by the county board shall include at least 60 minutes of instruction for each student on the dangers of opioid use, the additive characteristics of opioids, and safer alternatives to treat pain.
(e) Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, comprehensive drug awareness and prevention programs for students in grades K through 12 may include faith-based electives for drug awareness in classrooms. The state board shall promulgate a rule on how the faith-based electives can be offered in a way that is consistent with constitutional requirements.