Key Points in the Anti Bullying Laws in West Virginia:
Definition of “harassment, intimidation, and bullying”
- Any intentional gesture, or any electronic, written, verbal or physical act, communication or threat that:
- Physically harms a student
- Damaging student’s property
- Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to his property
- Sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or emotionally abusive educational environment for a student
- Disrupts or interferes in the orderliness of school
- Cyber-bullying using:
- Wireless phone
- Any electronic or wireless device
Policy Prohibiting Bullying:
- Statement that prohibits harassment, intimidation or bullying.
- Reporting procedure
- Requirement for reporting bullying incidents.
- Requirement to notify parents or guardians of students who are involved in bullying act.
- Documentation procedure
- Procedure for responding to and investigating any reported incident
- Strategy for protecting a victim from additional harassment, intimidation or bullying, and from retaliation.
- Disciplinary procedure
- Confidentiality or report
Policy Training and Education
- Provide training on the harassment, intimidation and bullying policy to school employees and volunteers who have direct contact with students.
- Develop a process for educating students on the harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy
- Information regarding the Country Board Policy against harassment, intimidation and bullying shall be incorporated into each school’s current employee training program.
Bullying Laws in West Virginia – Best Practices
- Focus on the social environment of the school.
- Assess bullying at your school.
- Obtain staff and parent buy-in and support for bullying prevention.
- Form a group to coordinate the school’s bullying prevention activities.
- Provide training for school staff in bullying prevention.
- Establish and enforce school rules and policies related to bullying.
- Increase adult supervision in “hot spots” for bullying.
- Devote class time to bullying prevention.
- Intervene consistently and appropriately when you witness a bullying incident.
- Continue these efforts.
Healthy Workplace Bill in West Virginia
The Mountain State was the 19th state to introduce the Healthy Workplace Bill. It was started by Del. Linda Longstreth. On Feb. 1st of this year, HB 3015 was discussed in a committee hearing for Energy, Industry and Labor.