A Watch-dog Organization - Advocating for Bullied Children
& Reporting on State Anti Bullying Laws
 
..

Synopsis: There are 3 laws listed on this web page.  The first is the upgraded law passed in February 2009, which includes cyberbullying, and the second two laws were passed by both Virginia houses in February 2005.

 

http://www.swvatoday.com/news/article/year_in_review/6557/ - Year in review - (May 2010)

A member of the anti-bullying watchdog group Bully Police USA and a Washington County resident Kristl Widener, with the help of fellow Bully Police members Brenda Morrison and Ava Morgan, put in some calls to Virginia Delegate David Englin, who sponsored a bill to put more muscle behind the state’s anti-bullying efforts. With Widener and other’s concerns on his mind, Englin focused House Bill 1624 on cyber bullying, requiring the state to develop a way to handle the problem.  On April 8, Gov. Tim Kaine signed the bill into law. 

 

   To read, Bullying bill's backer a county resident, go to http://www.swvatoday.com/news/article/bullying_bills_backer_a_county_resident/5148/)

VIRGINIA

A++
upgraded


HOUSE BILL NO. 1624 

AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE

(Proposed by the House Committee on Education on February 4, 2009)

(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Englin)
 

 

A BILL to amend and reenact § 22.1-279.6 of the Code of Virginia, relating to a Board of Education model policy for the prohibition of bullying, harassment, and intimidation.
 

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 22.1-279.6 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 22.1-279.6. Board of Education guidelines and model policies for codes of student conduct; school board regulations. 
 

 

A. The Board of Education shall establish guidelines and develop model policies for codes of student conduct to aid local school boards in the implementation of such policies.  (point for # 5 on the grading scale at www.bullypolice.org/grade.htmlThe guidelines and model policies shall include, but not be limited to, (i) criteria for the removal of a student from a class, the use of suspension, expulsion, and exclusion as disciplinary measures, the grounds for suspension and expulsion and exclusion, and the procedures to be followed in such cases, including proceedings for such suspension, expulsion, and exclusion decisions and all applicable appeals processes; (ii) standards, consistent with state, federal and case laws, for school board policies on alcohol and drugs, gang-related activity, hazing, vandalism, trespassing, threats, search and seizure, disciplining of students with disabilities, intentional injury of others, self-defense, bullying, the use of electronic means for purposes of bullying, harassment, and intimidation,  (Plus for # 12)  and dissemination of such policies to students, their parents, and school personnel; and (iii) standards for in-service training of school personnel in and examples of the appropriate management of student conduct and student offenses in violation of school board policies. 
 

 

In accordance with the most recent enunciation of constitutional principles by the Supreme Court of the United States of America, the Board's standards for school board policies on alcohol and drugs and search and seizure shall include guidance for procedures relating to voluntary and mandatory drug testing in schools, including, but not limited to, which groups may be tested, use of test results, confidentiality of test information, privacy considerations, consent to the testing, need to know, and release of the test results to the appropriate school authority. 
 

 

In the case of suspension and expulsion, the procedures set forth in this article shall be the minimum procedures that the school board may prescribe. 
 

 

B. School boards shall adopt and revise, as required by § 22.1-253.13:7 and in accordance with the requirements of this section, regulations on codes of student conduct that are consistent with, but may be more stringent than, the guidelines of the Board. School boards shall include, in the regulations on codes of student conduct, procedures for suspension, expulsion, and exclusion decisions and shall biennially review the model student conduct code to incorporate discipline options and alternatives to preserve a safe, nondisruptive environment for effective teaching and learning. 
 

 

Each school board shall include, in its code of student conduct, prohibitions against bullying, hazing, and profane or obscene language or conduct. School boards shall also cite, in their codes of student conduct, the provisions of § 18.2-56, which defines and prohibits hazing and imposes a Class 1 misdemeanor penalty for violations, i.e., confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both. 
 

 

A school board may regulate the use or possession of beepers or other portable communications devices and laser pointers by students on school property or attending school functions or activities and establish disciplinary procedures pursuant to this article to which students violating such regulations will be subject. 
 

 

Nothing herein shall be construed to require any school board to adopt policies requiring or encouraging any drug testing in schools. However, a school board may, in its discretion, require or encourage drug testing in accordance with the Board of Education's guidelines and model student conduct policies required by subsection A and the Board's guidelines for student searches required by § 22.1-279.7
 

 

C. The Board of Education shall establish standards to ensure compliance with the federal Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (Part F-Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994), as amended, in accordance with § 22.1-277.07
 

 

This subsection shall not be construed to diminish the authority of the Board of Education or to diminish the Governor's authority to coordinate and provide policy direction on official communications between the Commonwealth and the United States government. 
 

 

VIRGINIA ACTS OF ASSEMBLY - [H 2266]
An Act to amend and reenact §§ 22.1-208.01, 22.1-279.3:1, and 22.1-279.6 of the Code of Virginia, relating to school board policies relating to bullying, harassment, and intimidation. (This section satisfies point 1 & 2 on the grading scale at www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1.  That §§ 22.1-208.01, 22.1-279.3:1, and 22.1-279.6 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 22.1-208.01. Character education required.

A. Each school board shall establish, within its existing programs, a character education program in its schools. The purpose of the character education program shall be to instill in students civic virtues and personal character traits so as to improve the learning environment, promote student achievement, reduce disciplinary problems, and develop civic-minded students of high character. The components of each program shall be developed in cooperation with the students, their parents, and the community at large. The basic character traits taught may include (i) trustworthiness, including honesty, integrity, reliability, and loyalty; (ii) respect, including the precepts of the Golden Rule, tolerance, and courtesy; (iii) responsibility, including hard work, economic self-reliance, accountability, diligence, perseverance, and self-control; (iv) fairness, including justice, consequences of bad behavior, principles of nondiscrimination, and freedom from prejudice; (v) caring, including kindness, empathy, compassion, consideration, generosity, and charity; and (vi) citizenship, including patriotism, the Pledge of Allegiance, respect for the American flag, concern for the common good, respect for authority and the law, and community-mindedness. (This section satisfies point 4 on the grading scale at www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)

Classroom instruction may be used to supplement a character education program; however, each program shall be interwoven into the school procedures and environment and structured to instruct primarily through example, illustration, and participation, in such a way as to complement the Standards of Learning. The program shall also address the inappropriateness of bullying, as defined in the Student Conduct Policy Guidelines adopted by the Board of Education pursuant to § 22.1-279.6.

This provision is intended to educate students regarding those core civic values and virtues which are efficacious to civilized society and are common to the diverse social, cultural, and religious groups of the Commonwealth. Consistent with this purpose, Virginia's civic values, which are the principles articulated in the Bill of Rights (Article I) of the Constitution of Virginia and the ideals reflected in the seal of the Commonwealth, as described in § 7.1-26, may be taught as representative of such civic values. Nothing herein shall be construed as requiring or authorizing the indoctrination in any particular religious or political belief.

B. The Board of Education shall establish criteria for character education programs, consistent with the provisions of this section. To assist school divisions in implementing character education programs and practices that are designed to promote the development of personal qualities as set forth in this section and the Standards of Quality and that will improve family and community involvement in the public schools, the Board of Education shall also establish, within the Department of Education, the Commonwealth Character Initiative. The Board shall provide resources and technical assistance to school divisions regarding successful character education programs and shall (i) identify and analyze effective character education programs and practices and (ii) collect and disseminate among school divisions information regarding such programs and practices and potential funding and support sources. The Board may also provide resources supporting professional development for administrators and teachers in the delivery of any character education programs.

C. The Board of Education shall award, with such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, grants to school boards for the implementation of innovative character education programs.  (This section satisfies point 6 on the grading scale at www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)

§ 22.1-279.3:1. Reports of certain acts to school authorities.  (This section satisfies point 11 on the grading scale at www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)

A. Reports shall be made to the division superintendent and to the principal or his designee on all incidents involving (i) the assault or assault and battery, without bodily injury, of any person on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity; (ii) the assault and battery which that results in bodily injury, sexual assault, death, shooting, stabbing, cutting, or wounding of any person, or stalking of any person as described in § 18.2-60.3, on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity; (This section satisfies point 3 on the grading scale at www.bullypolice.org/grade.html) (iii) any conduct involving alcohol, marijuana, a controlled substance, imitation controlled substance, or an anabolic steroid on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity, including the theft or attempted theft of student prescription medications; (iv) any threats against school personnel while on a school bus, on school property or at a school-sponsored activity; (v) the illegal carrying of a firearm, as defined in § 22.1-277.07, onto school property; (vi) any illegal conduct involving firebombs, explosive materials or devices, or hoax explosive devices, as defined in § 18.2-85, or explosive or incendiary devices, as defined in § 18.2-433.1, or chemical bombs, as described in § 18.2-87.1, on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity; (vii) any threats or false threats to bomb, as described in § 18.2-83, made against school personnel or involving school property or school buses; or (viii) the arrest of any student for an incident occurring on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity, including the charge therefore.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 12 (§ 16.1-299 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1, local law-enforcement authorities shall report, and the principal or his designee and the division superintendent shall receive such reports, on offenses, wherever committed, by students enrolled at the school if the offense would be a felony if committed by an adult or would be a violation of the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) and occurred on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity, or would be an adult misdemeanor involving any incidents described in clauses (i) through (viii) of subsection A.

C. The principal or his designee shall submit a report of all incidents required to be reported pursuant to this section to the superintendent of the school division. The division superintendent shall annually report all such incidents to the Department of Education for the purpose of recording the frequency of such incidents on forms that shall be provided by the Department and shall make such information available to the public. A division superintendent who knowingly fails to comply or secure compliance with the reporting requirements of this subsection shall be subject to the sanctions authorized in § 22.1-65. A principal who knowingly fails to comply or secure compliance with the reporting requirements of this section shall be subject to sanctions prescribed by the local school board, which may include, but need not be limited to, demotion or dismissal.

The principal or his designee shall also notify the parent of any student involved in an incident required pursuant to this section to be reported, regardless of whether disciplinary action is taken against such student or the nature of the disciplinary action. Such notice shall relate to only the relevant student's involvement and shall not include information concerning other students.

Whenever any student commits any reportable incident as set forth in this section, such student shall be required to participate in such prevention and intervention activities (Plus for # 10 www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)as deemed appropriate by the superintendent or his designee. Prevention and intervention activities shall be identified in the local school division's drug and violence prevention plans developed pursuant to the federal Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (Title IV - Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act).

D. Except as may otherwise be required by federal law, regulation, or jurisprudence, the principal shall immediately report to the local law-enforcement agency any act enumerated in clauses (ii) through (vii) of subsection A that may constitute a criminal offense and may report to the local law-enforcement agency any incident described in clause (i) of subsection A.

Further, except as may be prohibited by federal law, regulation, or jurisprudence, the principal shall also immediately report any act enumerated in clauses (ii) through (v) of subsection A that may constitute a criminal offense to the parents of any minor student who is the specific object of such act.  Further, the principal shall report that the incident has been reported to local law enforcement as required by law and that the parents may contact local law enforcement for further information, if they so desire.

E. A statement providing a procedure and the purpose for the requirements of this section shall be included in school board policies required by § 22.1-253.13:7.

The Board of Education shall promulgate regulations to implement this section, including, but not limited to, establishing reporting dates and report formats.

F. For the purposes of this section, "parent" or "parents" means any parent, guardian or other person having control or charge of a child.

G. This section shall not be construed to diminish the authority of the Board of Education or to diminish the Governor's authority to coordinate and provide policy direction on official communications between the Commonwealth and the United States government.

§ 22.1-279.6. Board of Education guidelines and model policies for codes of student conduct; school board regulations. (1/2 point for # 5 on the grading scale at www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)

A. The Board of Education shall establish guidelines and develop model policies for codes of student conduct to aid local school boards in the implementation of such policies. The guidelines and model policies shall include, but not be limited to, (i) criteria for the removal of a student from a class, the use of suspension, expulsion, and exclusion as disciplinary measures, the grounds for suspension and expulsion and exclusion, and the procedures to be followed in such cases, including proceedings for such suspension, expulsion, and exclusion decisions and all applicable appeals processes; (ii) standards, consistent with state, federal and case laws, for school board policies on alcohol and drugs, hazing, vandalism, trespassing, threats, search and seizure, disciplining of students with disabilities, intentional injury of others, self-defense, bullying, and dissemination of such policies to students, their parents, and school personnel; and (iii) standards for in-service training of school personnel in and examples of the appropriate management of student conduct and student offenses in violation of school board policies.

In accordance with the most recent enunciation of constitutional principles by the Supreme Court of the United States of America, the Board's standards for school board policies on alcohol and drugs and search and seizure shall include guidance for procedures relating to voluntary and mandatory drug testing in schools, including, but not limited to, which groups may be tested, use of test results, confidentiality of test information, privacy considerations, consent to the testing, need to know, and release of the test results to the appropriate school authority.

In the case of suspension and expulsion, the procedures set forth in this article shall be the minimum procedures that the school board may prescribe.

B. School boards shall adopt and revise, as required by § 22.1-253.13:7 and in accordance with the requirements of this section, regulations on codes of student conduct that are consistent with, but may be more stringent than, the guidelines of the Board. School boards shall include, in the regulations on codes of student conduct, procedures for suspension, expulsion, and exclusion decisions and shall biennially review the model student conduct code to incorporate discipline options and alternatives to preserve a safe, non disruptive environment for effective teaching and learning.

Each school board shall include, in its code of student conduct, prohibitions against bullying, hazing, and profane or obscene language or conduct. School boards shall also cite, in their codes of student conduct, the provisions of § 18.2-56, which defines and prohibits hazing and imposes a Class 1 misdemeanor penalty for violations, i.e., confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.

A school board may regulate the use or possession of beepers or other portable communications devices and laser pointers by students on school property or attending school functions or activities and establish disciplinary procedures pursuant to this article to which students violating such regulations will be subject.

Nothing herein shall be construed to require any school board to adopt policies requiring or encouraging any drug testing in schools. However, a school board may, in its discretion, require or encourage drug testing in accordance with the Board of Education's guidelines and model student conduct policies required by subsection A and the Board's guidelines for student searches required by § 22.1-279.7.

C. The Board of Education shall establish standards to ensure compliance with the federal Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (Part F-Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994), as amended, in accordance with § 22.1-277.07.

This subsection shall not be construed to diminish the authority of the Board of Education or to diminish the Governor's authority to coordinate and provide policy direction on official communications between the Commonwealth and the United States government. 
 

HOUSE BILL NO. 2267
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee for Courts of Justice on January 31, 2005) (Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Bell)
A BILL to amend and reenact § 8.01-220.1:2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to civil immunity for reporting incidents of bullying.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1.  That § 8.01-220.1:2 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 8.01-220.1:2. Civil immunity for teachers under certain circumstances.  (This section satisfies point 9 on the grading scale at www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)

A. Any teacher employed by a local school board in this the Commonwealth shall not be liable for any civil damages for any acts or omissions resulting from the supervision, care or discipline of students when such acts or omissions are within such teacher's scope of employment and are taken in good faith in the course of supervision, care or discipline of students, unless such acts or omissions were the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

B. No school employee or school volunteer shall be liable for any civil damages arising from reporting alleged acts of bullying or crimes against others, if such person in good faith promptly reports such acts or crimes to the appropriate school official in compliance with specified procedures. (1 point for # 8 on the grading scale at www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)

BC. This section shall not be construed to limit, withdraw or overturn any defense or immunity already existing in statutory or common law or to affect any claim occurring prior to the effective date of this law, or to prohibit any person subject to bullying or a criminal act from seeking redress under any other provision of law.

NEWS FLASH - ADRIANNA SGARLATA BECOMES MISS VIRGINIA!
Check out the news at www.MissVA.com


 
Adrianna with VA Delegate Rob Bell
at their first meeting to discuss the writing and sponsorship of  Virginia's pending anti-bullying bill.
..
..
Adrianna is speaking at the press conference on Capitol Hill in support of funding for the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act for Suicide Prevention.

Meet Miss Chesterfield and Second Runner up to Miss Virginia, Adrianna Sgarlata
www.AdriannaSgarlata.com - Director of Bully Police - Virginia

 
 
Adrianna is meeting with (left to right):  Sarah Kuegler, and Ashley Anderson who are the project leaders for the youth suicide prevention project at the DECA chapter at Robinson, Dana Lichtenberg, Legislative Assistant to Bart Gordon, Member of Congress, 6th District, Tennessee, and Catherine Finley, Senior Health Policy Advisor for U. S. Senator Gordon H. Smith, Oregon.  Here they are planning for the press conference on Capitol Hill where they sought support of funding for the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act for suicide prevention. Adrianna at the Autumn Harvest Parade in Richmond Virginia, where she spoke with children, parents, and educators about Bullycide and anti-bullying efforts.  She handed out packets of Skittles in memory of Jared High, and attached a sticker to each package with instructions on how to access Jared's story at www,jaredstory.com for further information and help.
Adrianna is speaking before the DECA chapter at Robinson High School, where she is an adult advisor.  Here she shares her thoughts on the tragic effects of bullying, as well as promoting anti-bullying efforts. 


Kristl Widner pushes for change in Virginia
"My son, was hit and called vicious names at his school. I saw the boys yelling at him and making intimidating gestures like sticking their fingers in his face. This happened at football games I attended to watch my son play. My son was not protected from his bullies by faculty or staff. I had my son put on homebound so I could protect him and when he returned to school, he was put on an alternate schedule to protect him from being bullied. He even carried a piece of paper to write down if anything happened. I made the paper a certain way where it required teachers and principals’ signature to insure his well being. He is now back on a regular schedule but only after I really felt he would be safe. Why did it take eight years to provide a safe environment for my son? Well I am, and will remain active, watching over all kids in Virginia to give them the right to go to school and learn in peace."

Kristl Widner and her family are fighting for National Anti Bullying Laws.


The Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers, an arm of the Virginia State Bar, provides five free programs to Virginia schools.

1.  The Peer Mediation Project informs middle and high school students of the importance of learning how to manage conflict. The Young Lawyers Conference provides a forum with set standards and guidelines on how to handle conflict resolution. This program allows students to mediate disputes that occur in school with the guidance of the staff at the schools and the assistance of young lawyers.

2.  The Diversity Tolerance Initiative is designed for lawyers to help strengthen the diversity that makes our democratic society thrive by promoting respect among children for those who look different, act different or share different beliefs through separate projects for third grade and high school juniors and seniors:

a.  The Welcome to School: Helping Kids Belong Program is presented to third grade classes by a lawyer. The goal of this project is to promote the ideas of respect, consideration and kindness. Diversity Tolerance Education Program - Contact Savalle C. Sims at (202) 857-8948. (Washington D.C.)

b.  The Taking Hate Out of the Classroom Program is designed for junior and senior high school students as part of the “Hate Crimes and Violence Outreach” program offered by the American Bar Association. Through this program, lawyers lead discussions with students about hate and bias acts and crimes. Contact Jennifer McClellan at (804) 788-8571

HOME

bullycide.blogspot.com


Bully Police E-Book
STOP THE BULLYING!
Part III - E-Book
For Educators
Only $6.95.




Moms Speak Out!

Bullycide in America:
Moms Speak Out!
On E-Book for $ 9.90



Christina International High School - Online!



Stop
CyberBullies!
Bully Police E-Book
Part III on E-Book
Only $ 4.95


BULLYING...We're Kickin' It!


The Video Page


Be Kind to One Another - A "Bracelet" reminder


STOP THE

BULLYING!
Bully Police E-Book
The Parent's
& Kids E-Book

Only $4.95.


About Brenda High,
Founder and
Co-Director of
Bully Police USA
BPUSA Webmaster

 

AOL's 2010
Amazing Mom:
Brenda High

 

JaredStory.com

........
Google
 
Web www.bullypolice.org