The county boards may employ a hearing examiner to conduct the expulsion hearings required by this article. The hearing examiner shall be an attorney, duly licensed to practice law in the State of West Virginia and shall not be employed by the state or county boards for any other reason.
The hearing examiner shall conduct hearings in compliance with the guidelines of section one-a of this article. All hearings shall be recorded by mechanical means, unless recorded by a certified court reporter. The hearing examiner shall issue a decision and written findings of fact and conclusions of law within five days of the conclusion of the hearing. Hearings by a hearing examiner shall have the same force and effect as a decision made by a county board. Upon the written request of a parent, guardian, or custodian of the student, or the county superintendent, the county board shall review the decision of the hearing examiner. Within ten calendar days from the date of the request of the review, the county board shall enter an order affirming, reversing, or modifying the decision of the hearing examiner. A county board may, in its own discretion, hold a hearing to determine any issues in question.
The authority of the county superintendent shall be the same as contained in section one-a of this article.