Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 730. Investigation of Child Abuse and Neglect in Out of Family Complaints

22VAC40-730-115. Procedures for Conducting an Investigation of a Teacher, Principal, or Other Person Employed by a Local School Board or Employed in a Nonresidential School Operated by the Commonwealth.

A. Each local department of social services and local school division shall adopt a written interagency agreement as a protocol for investigating child abuse and neglect reports against school personnel. The interagency agreement shall be based on recommended procedures for conducting investigations developed by the Departments of Education and Social Services.

B. These procedures for investigating school personnel amplify or clarify other Child Protection Services regulations.

1. If a teacher, principal, or other person employed by a local school board or employed in a school operated by the Commonwealth is suspected of abusing or neglecting a child in the course of his educational employment, the complaint shall be investigated in accordance with §§ 63.2-1503, 63.2-1505, and 63.2-1516.1 of the Code of Virginia. Pursuant to § 22.1-279.1 of the Code of Virginia, no teacher, principal, or other person employed by a school board or employed in a school operated by the Commonwealth shall subject a student to corporal punishment. However, this prohibition of corporal punishment shall not be deemed to prevent (i) the use of incidental, minor, or reasonable physical contact or other actions designed to maintain order and control; (ii) the use of reasonable and necessary force to quell a disturbance or remove a student from the scene of a disturbance that threatens physical injury to persons or damage to property; (iii) the use of reasonable and necessary force to prevent a student from inflicting physical harm on himself; (iv) the use of reasonable and necessary force for self-defense or the defense of others; or (v) the use of reasonable and necessary force to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects or controlled substances or paraphernalia that are upon the person of the student or within the student's control. In determining whether the actions of a teacher, principal, or other person employed by a school board or employed in a school operated by the Commonwealth are within the exceptions provided in this subsection, the local department shall examine whether the actions at the time of the event that were made by such person were reasonable.

2. If the local department determines that the alleged abuser's actions were within the scope of his employment and were taken in good faith in the course of supervision, care, or discipline of students, then the standard for determining a founded finding of abuse or neglect is whether such acts or omissions constituted gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 20, Issue 05, eff. January 1, 2004; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 02, eff. November 2, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 09, eff. February 8, 2006; Volume 30, Issue 06, eff. January 1, 2014; Volume 35, Issue 23, eff. August 23, 2019.

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