West Virginia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Alternatives to Suspension

Discipline Compendium

West Virginia School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Alternatives to Suspension

Category: In-School Discipline
Subcategory: Alternatives to Suspension
State: West Virginia

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§18A-5-1. Authority of teachers and other school personnel; exclusion of students having infectious diseases; suspension or expulsion of disorderly students; corporal punishment abolished.

(d) The Legislature finds that suspension from school is not appropriate solely for a student's failure to attend class. Therefore, a student may not be suspended from school solely for not attending class. Other methods of discipline may be used for the student which may include, but are not limited to, detention, extra class time or alternative class settings. [...]

(f) Each county board is solely responsible for the administration of proper discipline in the public schools of the county and shall adopt policies consistent with the provisions of this section to govern disciplinary actions. These policies shall encourage the use of alternatives to discipline practices, provide for the training of school personnel in alternatives to discipline practices and provide for encouraging the involvement of parent(s), guardian(s) or custodian(s) in the maintenance of school discipline. To promote a teaching and learning environment free from substantial classroom disturbances, each county board shall ensure that each school implements a tier system policy, with teacher input, to provide a framework for student behaviors and punishments. The policy shall be clear and concise with specific guidelines and examples. The principal shall support the teacher in the discipline of the students if proper cause and documentation is provided following the schoolwide discipline policy. The teacher may not be reprimanded if their actions are legal and within the structure of the county board’s policy for student behavior and punishment. The county board policies shall also include an appeal procedure whereby a teacher may appeal to the county superintendent if a school principal refuses to allow the exclusion of a student from the classroom or if a teacher believes the school principal has prematurely ended the exclusion of a student from the classroom.

The county boards shall provide for the immediate incorporation and implementation in schools of a preventive discipline program which may include the responsible student program and a student involvement program which may include the peer mediation program, devised by the West Virginia Board of Education. Each county board may modify those programs to meet the particular needs of the county. The county boards shall provide in-service training for teachers and principals relating to assertive discipline procedures and conflict resolution. The county boards also may establish cooperatives with private entities to provide middle educational programs which may include programs focusing on developing individual coping skills, conflict resolution, anger control, self-esteem issues, stress management and decision making for students and any other program related to preventive discipline.

§18A-5-8. Authority of certain aides to exercise control over students; compensation; transfers.

(b) The authority provided for in subsection (a) of this section does not extend to suspending or expelling any student, participating in the administration of corporal punishment or performing instructional duties as a teacher or substitute teacher. However, the authority extends to supervising students undergoing in-school suspension if the instructional duties required by the supervision are limited solely to handing out class work and collecting class work. The authority to supervise students undergoing in-school suspension does not include actual instruction.

§49-4-717. Sexting educational diversion program; requirements.

(a) Before a juvenile petition is filed for activity proscribed by article eight-a [§§ 61-8A-1 et seq.] or eight-c [§§ 61-8C-1 et seq.], chapter sixty-one of this code, or after probable cause has been found to believe a juvenile has committee a violation thereof, but before an adjudicatory hearing on the petition, the court or a prosecuting attorney may direct or allow a minor who engaged in the activity to participate in an educational diversion program which meets the requirements of subsection (b) of this section. The prosecutor or court may refer the minor to the educational diversion program, as part of a prepetition intervention pursuant to section seven hundred two [§ 49-4-702] of this article.

(b) The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals may develop an educational diversion program for minors who are accused of activity proscribed by article eight-a or eight-c, chapter sixty-one of this code. As a part of any specialized educational diversion program so developed, the following issues and topics should be included:

(1) The legal consequences of and penalties for sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials, including applicable federal and state statutes;

(2) The nonlegal consequences of sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials including, but not limited to, the effect on relationships, loss of educational and employment opportunities, and being barred or removed from school programs and extracurricular activities;

(3) How the unique characteristics of cyberspace and the Internet, including searchability, replicability and an infinite audience, can produce long-term and unforeseen consequences for sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials; and

(4) The connection between bullying and cyber-bullying and minors sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials.


§126-81-3. Policy development.

3.2. Allowable Deductions for Schools. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, absences that result from school approved curricular/co-curricular activities, failure of the bus to run/hazardous conditions, students not in attendance due to disciplinary measures, and school/county directed placements outside the traditional classroom environment including but not limited to homebound placement and in-school suspension.

§126-81-5. Responsibilities.

5.2. Each county's attendance policy shall address the following components:

5.2.b. County school systems are responsible for:

5.2.b.7. assuring that a student may not be suspended solely for failure to attend class. Other methods of discipline may include, but are not limited to, detention, extra class time, or alternative class settings.

§126-99-5. Severability.

Suspension. The purpose of suspension is to protect the students, school personnel and property, the educational environment, and the orderly process of the school. Suspension is considered a temporary solution to an inappropriate behavior until the problem that caused the suspension is corrected. The length of a suspension should be short, usually one to three school days, but may extend to ten school days.

Suspension typically takes one of two forms:

-In-School Suspension. Student is temporarily removed from the classroom(s) for disciplinary reasons but remains under the direct supervision of school personnel and continues to receive instructional support. Direct supervision means school personnel are physically in the same location as the student(s) under their supervision. Settings may include other locations within the school building or removal to another school, such as an alternative school, provided the student remains under direct supervision of school personnel.

-Out-of-School Suspension. Student is temporarily removed from the school for disciplinary reasons to another setting pursuant to W. Va. Code § 18A-5-1a (e.g., home, community setting). This includes both removals in which no Individual Education Plan (IEP) services are provided because the removal is 10 days or less, as well as removals in which the student continues to receive services according to his/her IEP. The student is not under direct supervision of school personnel as defined under in-school suspension.

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