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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

Policies and Regulations

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Regulation 5-36.2

STUDENTS

False Fire Alarms/Bomb Threats/911 Calls/Threats Against a Person/Hoaxes-Imitation Infectious Biological, Toxic, or Radioactive Substances/Threat Assessments

  1. False Fire Alarms/Bomb Threats/911 Calls

    Activating a fire alarm without cause, making a false 911 emergency call, making a bomb threat, including false threats, against School Division personnel or School Board property, or encouraging, inciting, enticing, or soliciting any person to commit such a threat is unlawful and forbidden. Students guilty of this offense will be disciplined in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct and the Discipline Guidelines and shall be reported to Police.

  2. Threats Against a Person
    1. Written Threat: Communicating a written threat (including by electronic means), causing a reasonable apprehension of death or bodily harm, against any person or persons who are on the way to or from school, on school property, at any school-sponsored extra-curricular or related activity, on a school bus, or while at a school bus stop is prohibited. A student shall be in violation of this rule regardless of whether the person who is the object of the threat receives the threat, so long as a reasonable person would foresee that the statement would be interpreted, by those to whom the maker communicates the statement, as a serious expression of intent to harm or assault or it materially disrupts the learning environment, involves substantial disorder, or invasion of rights of others.
    2. Oral Threat: Making an oral threat to do bodily harm to any employee or student of any school while on a school bus, or on the way to or from school, on school property, or at school-sponsored extra-curricular or related activity is prohibited. A student shall be in violation of this rule regardless of whether the person who is the object of the threat receives the threat, so long as a reasonable person would foresee that the statement would be interpreted, by those to whom the maker communicates the statement, as a serious expression of intent to harm or assault or it materially disrupts the learning environment, involves substantial disorder, or invasion of rights of other.
  3. Hoaxes – Imitation Infectious Biological, Toxic, or Radioactive Substance

    Students are forbidden from: threatening injury to the person or property of another by the use of an imitation infectious biological, toxic, or radioactive substance; use of an imitation infectious biological, toxic or radioactive substance in such a manner as to place any person in reasonable apprehension of death or bodily harm, or with the intent to disrupt or interfere with the operations of any school, school bus or school-sponsored extra-curricular event or activity; to possess, manufacture, sell, give or distribute an imitation infectious biological, toxic or radioactive substance with the intent to place a person in reasonable apprehension of death or bodily harm; or to knowingly release or place, or cause or procure to be released or placed in, on or around any school, school bus, school event or school activity any imitation infectious biological, toxic, or radioactive substance with the intent to place any person in reasonable apprehension of death or bodily harm. Students violating this rule shall be disciplined in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct and the Discipline Guidelines and reported to Police.

    1. Definitions
      1. “Imitation infectious biological substance” means a substance, in any form whatsoever, which is not an infectious biological substance and which:
        1. 1)
          by overall appearance, including color, shape, size, marking, packing or by representations made, would cause a reasonable likelihood that such substance in any form whatsoever would be mistaken for an infectious biological substance; or
        2. 2)
          by express or implied representation purports to act like an infectious biological substance.
      2. “Infectious biological substance” means any bacteria, virus, fungi, protozoa, or rickettsiae capable of causing death or serious injury.
      3. “Imitation toxic substance” means a substance, in any form whatsoever, which is not a toxic substance and which:
        1. 1)
          by overall appearance, including color, shape, size, marking, packaging or by representations made, would cause a reasonable likelihood that such substance in any form whatsoever would be mistaken for a toxic substance; or
        2. 2)
          by expressed or implied representation purports to act like a toxic substance.
      4. “Toxic substance” means any substance, including any raw materials, intermediate products, catalysts, final products, or by-products of any manufacturing operation conducted in a commercial establishment, that has the capacity, through its physical, chemical or biological properties, to pose a substantial risk of death or impairment either immediately or over time, to the normal functions of humans, aquatic organisms, or any other animal.
      5. “Imitation radioactive substance” means a substance, in any form whatsoever, which is not a radioactive substance and which:
        1. 1)
          by overall appearance, including color, shape, size, marking, packaging or by representations made, would cause a reasonable likelihood that such substance in any form whatsoever would be mistaken for a radioactive substance.
        2. 2)
          by expressed or implied representation purports to act like a radioactive substance.
      6. “Radioactive substance” means any substance that emits ionizing radiation spontaneously.
  4. Threat Assessment Procedure

    When a threat is reported, the principal or assistant principal or designee, as the leader of the school-based threat assessment team (i.e., principal or assistant principal, school resource officer, school psychologist, school counselor) should follow this procedure to assess the seriousness of the student’s threat based on “Guidelines for Responding to Student Threats of Violence” by Dewey Cornell and Peter Sheras (2006, Sopris West Educational Services):

    1. Evaluate the threat. The principal or designee investigates a reported threat by interviewing the student who made the threat and any witnesses to the threat and writing down the exact contents of the threat and statements made by each party. The principal or designee should consider the circumstances in which the threat was made and the student’s intentions.
    2. Decide whether the threat is transient or substantive. Transient threats are defined as statements that do not express a lasting intent to harm someone and the student has no substantive intention of carrying out the threat. Substantive threats are defined as statements that express a continuing intent to harm someone that extends beyond the immediate incident or argument when the threat was made. Also consider the student’s age, credibility, and previous discipline history.
    3. Respond to the transient threat. Typical responses may include a reprimand, parent notification, or another disciplinary action based on the Code of Student Conduct and Discipline Guidelines. The student may be required to make amends, apologize, or provide an explanation that makes it clear that the threat is over. Transient threats, by definition, do not require protective action because there is no sustained intent to carry out the threat. If the threat is substantive or the meaning of the threat is not clear, continue to the next step.
    4. Decide whether the substantive threat is serious or very serious. A serious threat involves a threat to assault someone. A very serious threat involves the use of a weapon or is a threat to kill, rape, or inflict severe injury on someone.
    5. Respond to a serious substantive threat. Take immediate precautions to protect potential victims, including notifying the intended victim and the victim’s parents/legal guardians. Typical immediate protective actions may include: cautioning the student who made the threat about the consequences of carrying it out; providing direct supervision so that the student cannot carry out the threat while at school. Notify the student’s parents/legal guardians to assume responsibility for supervising the student after he or she is returned to parental control. Consider involving the school resource officer or other law enforcement. Refer the student for counseling, dispute mediation, or another appropriate intervention. A mental health assessment by the school psychologist or other mental health professional may be considered (refer to 6 of this subsection for a brief description). The student making the threat will be disciplined in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct and the Discipline Guidelines.
    6. Respond to a very serious substantive threat (conduct a safety evaluation). The full threat assessment team should be involved in a very serious substantive threat. The term “very serious substantive threat” is reserved for only the most serious and dangerous threat situations. The team’s investigation of the threat is termed a “safety evaluation” that should identify and carry out any actions necessary to reduce the risk of violence and to gather information relevant to whether the student can return to school. Take immediate precautions to protect potential victims, including notifying the victim and the victim’s parents. Notify the student’s parents/legal guardians. Consult with the school resource officer or other law enforcement. A mental health assessment should be conducted by the school psychologist or other mental health professional to assess the student’s present mental state and determine whether there are urgent mental health needs that require immediate attention or if there are other treatment, referral, or support needs. Another purpose of the mental health assessment is to gather information on the student’s motives and intentions in making the threat, to understand why the threat was made and to identify relevant strategies and interventions that have the potential to reduce the risk of violence. Permission from the parent/legal guardian is not needed to begin this assessment because of the immediate need to determine the safety of the student or others, but the parent/legal guardian should be notified promptly. Permission from the parent/legal guardian should be obtained if further assessment is needed. The student should also be disciplined as appropriate according to the Code of Student Conduct and the Discipline Guidelines.

Legal Reference:

Code of Virginia § 18.2-60, as amended. Threats of death or bodily injury to a person or member of his family; threats to commit serious bodily harm to persons on school property; penalty.

Code of Virginia § 18.2-83, as amended. Threats to bomb or damage buildings or means of transportation; false information as to danger to such buildings, etc.; punishment; venue.

Code of Virginia § 18.2-84, as amended. Causing, inciting, etc., commission of act proscribed by § 18.2‑83.

Code of Virginia § 22.1-79.4, as amended. Threat assessment teams and oversight committees.

Code of Virginia § 54-1-2400.1, as amended. Mental health service providers; duty to protect third parties; immunity.

City of Virginia Beach Ordinance #2674 adopted November 6, 2001 adding City Code Section 23.8.2 prohibiting certain uses of imitation infectious biological, toxic, or radioactive substances.

School Board Policy 6-75 Psychological Tests

Approved by Superintendent: July 16, 1991
Adopted by School Board: August 2, 2000
Amended by School Board: March 5, 2002
Amended by School Board: October 7, 2003
Amended by School Board: April 4, 2006
Revised by Superintendent: August 16, 2013