H. B. 3023
(By Delegates Stemple, Williams, L. Smith, Mathews,
Louisos, Swartzmiller and Fahey)
[Passed April 14, 2001; in effect from passage.]
AN ACT to amend chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article two-c; and to
amend and reenact section five, article six, chapter
eighteen of said code, all relating to education; county
boards of education; legislative findings; definitions;
policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying;
liability; immunity; policy training, education and task
force; driver education; and allowing certain students to
operate a motor vehicle while accompanied by a certified
driver education teacher.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article two-c; and that
section five, article six, chapter eighteen be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2C. HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION OR BULLYING PROHIBITION.
§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 standards. 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,
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.
As used in this article, "harassment, intimidation or
bullying" means any intentional gesture, or any intentional
written, verbal or physical act or threat that:
(a) A reasonable person under the circumstances should know
will have the effect of:
(1) Harming a student;
(2) Damaging a student's property;
(3) Placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or
her person; or
(4) Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to his or
her property; or
(b) Is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it
creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational
environment for a student.
§18-2C-3. Policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or
(a) Each county board of education 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
(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 or at school sponsored
(2) A definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying no
less inclusive than that in section two 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
(6) A procedure for documenting any prohibited incident that
(7) A procedure for responding to and investigating any
(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; and
(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 of this code
(c) Each county board shall adopt the policy and submit a
copy to the state superintendent of schools by the first day of
December, two thousand one.
(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 the first day of September, two
(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 standards of
conduct for the school.
A school employee, student or volunteer is individually
immune from a cause of action for damages arising from reporting
said incident, if that person:
(1) In good faith promptly reports an incident of
harassment, intimidation or bullying;
(2) Makes the report to the appropriate school official as
designated by policy; and
(3) Makes the report in compliance with the procedures as
specified in policy.
§18-2C-5. Policy training and education.
(a) Schools and county boards are encouraged, but not
required, to form bullying prevention task forces, programs and
other initiatives involving school staff, students, teachers,
administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement and
(b) To the extent state or federal funds are appropriated
for these purposes, each school district shall:
(1) Provide training on the harassment, intimidation or
bullying policy to school employees and volunteers who have
direct contact with students; and
(2) Develop a process for educating students on the
harassment, intimidation or bullying policy.
(c) Information regarding the county board policy against
harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be incorporated into
each school's current employee training program.
Except as provided in section four of this article, nothing
in this article prohibits a victim from seeking redress under any
other provision of civil or criminal law.
ARTICLE 6. DRIVER EDUCATION.
§18-6-5. Establishment and maintenance of driver education
course; who may enroll; exemption from learner's permit
requirement; non-permit student drivers.
The state superintendent shall promote and direct the
establishment and maintenance of courses of instruction in driver
education in secondary schools in accordance with the provisions
of this article and the rules that the state board adopts
pursuant to section four of this article. Directors, trustees or
other persons having control or authority over private, parochial
or denominational secondary schools, who establish and maintain
the courses in the schools under their control or supervision,
shall comply with the rules that the state board adopts pursuant
to section four of this article.
In the case of a pupil who will not reach the age of fifteen
years before completion of the driver education course in which
enrolled, instruction shall be limited to the classroom. Pupils
who are fifteen years of age and older shall receive instruction and practical training in the operation of motor vehicles on the
public streets and highways.
Notwithstanding section three-a, article two, chapter
seventeen-b of this code, any student who is at least fifteen
years of age and is enrolled in a driver education course in
accordance with the provisions of this article and the rules that
the state board adopts pursuant to section four of this article,
may operate a motor vehicle on the roadways of West Virginia
while accompanied by a certified driver education teacher.