West Virginia Legislature
2019 Regular Session
House Bill 2742
By Delegate Rodighiero
[Introduced January 30, 2019; Referred
to the Committee on Education then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18-2-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to courses of instruction in all schools located within this state; and making available elective courses on the history of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.
§18-2-9. Required courses of instruction.
(a) In all public, private, parochial and denominational
schools located within this state there shall be given prior to the completion
of the eighth grade at least one year of instruction in the history of the
State of West Virginia. The schools shall require regular courses of instruction
by the completion of the twelfth grade in the history of the United States, in
civics, in the Constitution of the United States and in the government of the
State of West Virginia for the purpose of teaching, fostering and perpetuating
the ideals, principles and spirit of political and economic democracy in
America and increasing the knowledge of the organization and machinery of the
government of the United States and of the State of West Virginia and making
available, as an elective course of instruction, the history of the Old and New
Testaments of the Bible. The state board shall, with the advice of the
state superintendent, prescribe the courses of study covering these subjects
for the public schools.
It shall be the duty of The officials or boards
having authority over the respective private, parochial and denominational
schools to shall prescribe courses of study for the schools under
their control and supervision similar to those required for the public schools.
To further such study, every high school student eligible by age for voter
registration shall be afforded the opportunity to register to vote pursuant to §3-2-20
of this code.
(b) The state board shall cause to be taught in all of the public schools of this state the subject of health education, including instruction in any of the grades six through 12 as considered appropriate by the county board, on: (1) The prevention, transmission and spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and other sexually transmitted diseases; (2) substance abuse, including the nature of alcoholic drinks and narcotics, tobacco products and other potentially harmful drugs, with special instruction as to their effect upon the human system and upon society in general; (3) the importance of healthy eating and physical activity to maintaining healthy weight; and (4) education concerning cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid, including instruction in the care for conscious choking, and recognition of symptoms of drug or alcohol overdose. The course curriculum requirements and materials for the instruction shall be adopted by the state board by rule in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Resources. The state board shall prescribe a standardized health education assessment to be administered within health education classes to measure student health knowledge and program effectiveness.
(c) An opportunity shall be afforded to the parent or guardian of a child subject to instruction in the prevention, transmission and spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and other sexually transmitted diseases to examine the course curriculum requirements and materials to be used in the instruction. The parent or guardian may exempt the child from participation in the instruction by giving notice to that effect in writing to the school principal.
(d) After July 1, 2015, the required instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in subsection (b) of this section shall include at least 30 minutes of instruction for each student prior to graduation on the proper administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the psychomotor skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The term “psychomotor skills” means the use of hands-on practicing to support cognitive learning. Cognitive-only training does not qualify as “psychomotor skills”. The CPR instruction must be based on an instructional program established by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross or another program which is nationally recognized and uses the most current national evidence-based Emergency Cardiovascular Care guidelines and incorporates psychomotor skills development into the instruction. A licensed teacher is not required to be a certified trainer of cardiopulmonary resuscitation to facilitate, provide or oversee such instruction. The instruction may be given by community members, such as emergency medical technicians, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, licensed nurses and representatives of the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. These community members are encouraged to provide necessary training and instructional resources such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation kits and other material at no cost to the schools. The requirements of this subsection are minimum requirements. A local school district may offer CPR instruction for longer periods of time and may enhance the curriculum and training components, including, but not limited to, incorporating into the instruction the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED): Provided, That any instruction that results in a certification being earned must be taught by an authorized CPR/AED instructor.
(e) The full week of classes during the week within which September 11 falls shall be recognized as “Celebrate Freedom Week.” The purpose of Celebrate Freedom Week is to educate students about the sacrifices made for freedom in the founding of this country and the values on which this country was founded.
Celebrate Freedom Week must include appropriate instruction in each social studies class which:
(1) Includes an in-depth study of the intent, meaning and importance of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States with an emphasis on the Bill of Rights;
(2) Uses the historical, political and social environments surrounding each document at the time of its initial passage or ratification; and
(3) Includes the study of historical documents to firmly establish the historical background leading to the establishment of the provisions of the Constitution and Bill of Rights by the founding fathers for the purposes of safeguarding our Constitutional republic.
The requirements of this subsection are applicable to all public, private, parochial and denominational schools located within this state. Nothing in this subsection creates a standard or requirement subject to state accountability measures.
(f) Beginning the 2018-2019 school year, students in the public schools shall be administered a test the same as or substantially similar to the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services between their ninth and twelfth grade years as an indicator of student achievement in the area of civics education. The test results may be reported in the aggregate to the county board for evaluation by the board’s curriculum director and reported to the board members. Nothing in this subsection creates a standard or requirement subject to state accountability measures.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make available elective courses of instruction in all schools located within this state on the history of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.