West Virginia

Breadcrumb

West Virginia Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

What are the West Virginia laws and regulations that cover bullying?

How are bullying and cyberbullying defined in West Virginia anti-bullying laws and regulations?

West Virginia anti-bullying laws and regulations include the following definitions of harassment, intimidation, and bullying:

“Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any intentional gesture, or any intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act, communication, transmission or threat that:

(1) A reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effect of any one or more of the following:

(A) Physically harming a student;

(B) Damaging a student's property;

(C) Placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person; or

(D) Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to his or her property;

(2) Is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or emotionally abusive educational environment for a student; or

(3) Disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school.

W. Va. Code § 18-2C-2 (2011)

Do West Virginia anti-bullying laws and regulations cover cyberbullying that occurs off-campus?

No. West Virginia anti-bullying laws do not cover off-campus conduct.

What are the policy requirements for schools to prevent and respond to bullying behavior?

West Virginia school districts are required to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying. District policies must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:

  • Statements prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying and statements of scope indicating where and when the policy applies;
  • Definitions of harassment, intimidation or bullying that are no less inclusive than the definitions in state law;
  • Procedures for reporting, investigations, and documentation;
  • Requirements for notifying the parents of any student involved in a bullying incident;
  • Strategies for protecting a victim from additional harassment, intimidation, bullying or retaliation;
  • Disciplinary consequences for any student guilty of harassment, intimidation, or bullying; and
  • Provisions to protect student confidentiality.

West Virginia anti-bullying laws require county boards to submit a copy of the harassment, intimidation, and bullying policy to the State Superintendent of Schools and to compile an annual report to the state of incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

Do West Virginia anti-bullying laws and regulations include protections for specific groups?

No. There are no specific groups listed under West Virginia anti-bullying laws or regulations.

West Virginia schools that receive federal funding are required by federal law to address discrimination on a number of different personal characteristics. Find out when bullying may be a civil rights violation.

Do West Virginia anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to implement bullying prevention programs or strategies?

Yes. West Virginia anti-bullying laws encourage districts to form bullying prevention task forces, programs and other initiatives involving school staff, students, teachers, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement and community members, and to develop a process for educating students on the harassment, intimidation or bullying policy.

Do West Virginia anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to train teachers and other school staff on how to respond to bullying incidents?

Yes. West Virginia anti-bullying laws require districts, to the extent state or federal funds are appropriated for this purpose, to provide training on the harassment, intimidation or bullying policy to school employees and volunteers who have direct contact with students. Information regarding the harassment, intimidation or bullying policy must also be incorporated into each school's current employee training program.

Do West Virginia anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to provide safeguards or mental health supports for students involved with bullying?

Yes. West Virginia school district policies must include a strategy for protecting a victim from additional harassment, intimidation or bullying, and from retaliation following a report.

Do West Virginia anti-bullying laws and regulations involve parents in efforts to address bullying behavior?

Yes. West Virginia anti-bullying laws require county boards to adopt policies through a process that includes representation of parents or guardians, school employees, school volunteers, students and community members. School district policies must include a requirement that the parents or guardians of any student involved in a bullying incident must be notified. West Virginia anti-bullying laws also encourage districts to form bullying prevention task forces, programs and other initiatives involving school staff, students, teachers, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement and community members.

For More Information

Visit the West Virginia Department of Education’s “Safe & Supportive Schools” webpage and/or view the West Virginia state model policy on bullying and harassment.

The key component framework used in the analysis of state laws is based on the review of legislation presented in the “Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies – December 2011” (U.S. Department of Education).

 

Content last updated on June 20, 2017