HB544: Higher educational institutions; violence prevention committee policies and procedures.

HOUSE BILL NO. 544

Offered January 8, 2014
Prefiled January 6, 2014
A BILL to amend and reenact § 23-9.2:10 of the Code of Virginia, relating to public institutions of higher education; violence prevention committee policies and procedures.
Patron-- Filler-Corn

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 23-9.2:10 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 23-9.2:10. Violence prevention committee; threat assessment team.

A. Each public college or university shall have in place policies and procedures for the prevention of violence on campus, including assessment and intervention with individuals whose behavior poses a threat to the safety of the campus community.

B. The board of visitors or other governing body of each public institution of higher education shall determine a committee structure on campus of individuals charged with education and prevention of violence on campus. Each committee shall include representatives from student affairs, law enforcement, human resources, counseling services, residence life, and other constituencies as needed. Such committee shall also consult with legal counsel as needed. Once formed, each committee shall develop a clear statement of: (i) mission, (ii) membership, and (iii) leadership. Such statement shall be published and available to the campus community.

C. Each committee shall be charged with: (i) providing guidance to students, faculty, and staff regarding recognition of threatening or aberrant behavior that may represent a threat to the community and to self; (ii) identification of identifying members of the campus community to whom threatening behavior should be reported; (iii) establishing policies and procedures to encourage all faculty and staff to report threatening or aberrant behavior that may represent a threat to the community and to self to members of the campus community identified pursuant to clause (ii); and (iii) (iv) establishing policies and procedures for the assessment of individuals whose behavior may present a threat, appropriate means of intervention with such individuals, and sufficient means of action, including interim suspension, referrals to community services boards or health care providers for evaluation or treatment, or medical separation to resolve potential threats.

D. The board of visitors or other governing body of each public institution of higher education shall establish a specific threat assessment team that shall include members from law enforcement, mental health professionals, representatives of student affairs and human resources, and, if available, college or university counsel. Such team shall implement the assessment, intervention and action policies set forth by the committee pursuant to subsection C.

E. Each threat assessment team shall establish relationships or utilize existing relationships with local and state law-enforcement agencies as well as mental health agencies to expedite assessment and intervention with individuals whose behavior may present a threat to safety. Upon a preliminary determination that an individual poses a threat of violence to self or others, or exhibits significantly disruptive behavior or need for assistance, a threat assessment team may obtain criminal history record information, as provided in §§ 19.2-389 and 19.2-389.1, and health records, as provided in § 32.1-127.1:03. No member of a threat assessment team shall redisclose any criminal history record information or health information obtained pursuant to this section or otherwise use any record of an individual beyond the purpose for which such disclosure was made to the threat assessment team.