Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 22.1. Education
Chapter 14. Pupils
10/22/2020

§ 22.1-280.2. School crime line defined; development of school crime lines authorized; local school boards' authority; Board of Education to promulgate regulations.

A. As used in this section:

"School crime line" means a confidential, anonymous system providing inducements for students to report any unlawful act occurring in school buildings or on school grounds or during school-sponsored activities to local law-enforcement authorities which is established as a cooperative alliance between the local school board, news media, the community, and law-enforcement officials or through a separate, nonprofit corporation governed by a board of directors or as part of a local "Crime Stoppers" program.

B. In order to reduce crime and violence within the school divisions in the Commonwealth, any local school board may develop a school crime line program as a joint, self-sustaining, cooperative alliance with news media, the community, and law-enforcement authorities to receive, screen, and reward student reports of unlawful acts committed in school buildings or on school grounds or at school functions, when such reports lead to arrests or recovery of contraband or stolen property. Police or other law-enforcement personnel shall staff every school crime line program, receive reported information from anonymous student callers, screen such information, and direct information for further investigation, as may be appropriate.

C. Such programs may be established (i) by a local school board as a joint, self-sustaining, cooperative alliance with news media, the community, and law-enforcement authorities; (ii) through a separate nonprofit corporation initiated jointly by the local school board, news media, the community, and law-enforcement authorities and governed by a board of directors; or (iii) as part of a local "Crime Stoppers" program.

The governing board of any separate nonprofit school crime line corporation shall include broad-based community representation and shall, through its bylaws, set the policy, coordinate fund raising, and formulate a system of rewards. Prior to implementation of any school crime line program and annually thereafter, the local school board shall review and approve, as complying with the Board of Education's regulations for implementation of school crime lines, its regulations or the bylaws of any nonprofit school crime line corporation or the bylaws of any nonprofit "Crime Stoppers" corporation operating a school crime line. No school crime line program shall be implemented or revised without first obtaining the local school board's approval. Every local school board developing a school crime line program shall also notify all students and their parents or other custodian of the procedures and policies governing the program prior to implementation and annually thereafter.

D. By July 1, 1994, the Board of Education shall promulgate regulations for the implementation of school crime lines, including, but not limited to, appropriate fund raising, and the appropriateness of and limitations on rewards. In developing the regulations, the Board shall, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, address issues relating to civil rights, privacy, and any other question of law, including the civic duty to report crime without compensation.

E. Local school boards may establish, as a separate account, a school crime line fund, consisting of private contributions, local appropriations specifically designated for such purposes, and such funds as may be appropriated for this purpose by the Commonwealth pursuant to the appropriation act. No state or local funds appropriated for educational purposes shall be used to implement a school crime line.

1993, c. 361; 1994, c. 721.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.