WEST virginia legislature
2023 regular session
Senate Bill 130
By Senators Tarr, Rucker, Azinger, Karnes, Maynard, Deeds, Phillips, Roberts, Woodrum, Swope, Smith, Taylor, Grady, and Maroney
[Introduced January 11, 2023]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-2-9b, relating to prohibiting a school district, a public charter school, the West Virginia Board of Education, the West Virginia Department of Education, or any employee of the aforementioned entities, within the scope of his or her employment, from requiring or otherwise compelling a student, teacher, administrator, or other employee to affirm, adopt, or adhere to certain specified concepts; limiting prohibitions; providing that complaints may be filed pursuant to current state board policy; requiring reports of substantiated complaints to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability annually; and allowing the state board to promulgate rules.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
(a) A school district, a public charter school, the West Virginia Board of Education, the West Virginia Department of Education, or any employee of the aforementioned entities, within the scope of his or her employment, may not require or otherwise compel a student, teacher, administrator, or other employee to affirm, adopt, or adhere to any of the following concepts:
(1) One race is inherently, morally, or intellectually superior to another race;
(2) An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race, is inherently racist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;
(3) An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race;
(4) An individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race; or
(5) An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race, bears responsibility for actions committed by other members of the same race.
(b) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section prohibits:
(1) The discussion of those concepts in theory as part of an academic course;
(2) The discussion, examination, or debate regarding race and its impact on historical or current events, including the causes of those current or historical events; or
(3) The right to freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the West Virginia Constitution.
(c) Any student, parent or guardian of a student, or employee who believes that this act has been violated, may file a complaint pursuant to the state board policy on conflict resolution.
(d) The number, nature and resolution of each substantiated complaint for the previous year shall be reported as follows:
(1) Each school principal shall report to the county superintendent by August 1 each year;
(2) The county superintendent shall report to the state superintendent by September 1 each year; and
(3) The state superintendent, or his or her designee, shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability by October 1 each year.
(e) If necessary for the implementation of this section, the Board of Education is authorized to promulgate additional emergency and legislative rules pursuant to §29A-3B-1 et seq. of this code.