(a) In recognition of the findings of the Legislature as set forth in section one, article six-c, chapter forty-nine of this code, the Legislature further finds that public schools are able to provide a special environment for the training of children, parents and school personnel in the prevention of child abuse and neglect and child assault and that child abuse and neglect prevention and child assault prevention programs in the public schools are an effective and cost-efficient method of reducing the incidents of child abuse and neglect, promoting a healthy family environment and reducing the general vulnerability of children.
(b) County boards of education shall be required, to the extent funds are provided, to establish programs for the prevention of child abuse and neglect and child assault. Such programs shall be provided to pupils, parents and school personnel as deemed appropriate. Such programs shall be in compliance with regulations to be developed by the state Board of Education with the advice and assistance of the state Department of Health and Human Resources and the West Virginia State Police: Provided, That any such programs which substantially comply with the regulations adopted by the board and were in effect prior to the adoption of the regulations may be continued.
(c) Funds for implementing the child abuse and neglect prevention and child assault prevention programs may be allocated to the county boards of education from the children's trust fund established pursuant to the provisions of article six-c, chapter forty-nine of this code or appropriated for such purpose by the Legislature.
(d) County boards of education shall request from the state Criminal Identification Bureau the record of any and all criminal convictions relating to child abuse, sex-related offenses or possession of controlled substances with intent to deliver same for all of its future employees. This request shall be made immediately after the effective date of this section, and thereafter as warranted.
(e) Contractors or service providers or their employees may not make direct, unaccompanied contact with students or access school grounds unaccompanied when students are present if it cannot be verified that the contractors, service providers or employees have not previously been convicted of a qualifying offense, as defined in section two, article twelve, chapter fifteen of this code. For the purposes of this section, contractor and service provider shall be limited to any vendor, individual or entity under contract with a county school board. County school boards may require contractors and service providers to verify the criminal records of their employees before granting the above-mentioned contact or access. Where prior written consent is obtained, county school boards may obtain information from the Central Abuse Registry regarding contractors, service providers and their employees for the purposes of this subsection. Where a contractor or service provider gives his or her prior written consent, the county school board also may share information provided by the Central Abuse Registry with other county school boards for the purposes of satisfying the requirements of this subsection. The requirements of this subsection shall not go into effect until July 1, 2007.