Senate Bill No. 222

(By Senators Blatnik, Lucht, Bailey,

Jones and Wagner)


[Passed March 12, 1994; in effect ninety days from passage.]


AN ACT to amend and reenact section one, article five, chapter eighteen-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to prohibiting corporal punishment in the public schools.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section one, article five, chapter eighteen-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

§18A-5-1. Authority of teachers and other school personnel; exclusion of pupils having infectious diseases; suspension or expulsion of disorderly pupils; corporal punishment abolished.

The teacher shall stand in the place of the parent or guardian in exercising authority over the school, and shall have control of all pupils enrolled in the school from the time theyreach the school until they have returned to their respective homes, except that where transportation of pupils is provided, the driver in charge of the school bus or other mode of transportation shall exercise such authority and control over the children while they are in transit to and from the school. Subject to the rules of the state board of education, the teacher shall exclude from the school any pupil or pupils known to have or suspected of having any infectious disease, or any pupil or pupils who have been exposed to such disease, and shall immediately notify the proper health officer, or medical inspector, of such exclusion. Any pupil so excluded shall not be readmitted to the school until such pupil has complied with all the requirements of the rules governing such cases, or has presented a certificate of health signed by the medical inspector or other proper health officer. The teacher shall have authority to suspend any pupil guilty of disorderly, refractory, indecent or immoral conduct, and the district board of education may expel or exclude any such pupil if, on investigation, the conduct of such pupil is found to be detrimental to the progress and the general conduct of the school.
Corporal punishment of any pupil by a school employee is prohibited.
The West Virginia board of education and county boards of education shall adopt policies consistent with the provisions of this section encouraging the use of alternatives to corporal punishment, providing for the training of school personnel inalternatives to corporal punishment and for the involvement of parents and guardians in the maintenance of school discipline.
For the purpose of this section: (1) "Pupil" shall include any child, youth or adult who is enrolled in any instructional program or activity conducted under board authorization and within the facilities of or in connection with any program under public school direction: Provided, That in the case of adults the pupil-teacher relationship shall terminate when the pupil leaves the school or other place of instruction or activity; (2) "teacher" shall mean all professional educators as defined in section one, article one of this chapter and shall include the driver of a school bus or other mode of transportation.
Teachers shall exercise such other authority and perform such other duties as may be prescribed for them by law or by the rules of the state board of education not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter and chapter eighteen of this code.