By A.M. STONE
LOGAN - School board members from Kanawha, Logan, Mason, Mingo and Wayne counties gathered May 15 for a regional meeting of the West Virginia School Board Association at Chief Logan State Park.
Keynote speaker Howard Seufer, who serves as general counsel for the West Virginia School Board Association and has practiced education law for more than 35 years, attempted to summarize the changes and new laws dealing with public education.
Holding up a large bundle of papers, he said, ""This is what you would be getting if I gave you a copy of the bills passed by the legislature and the governor signed into law that directly affect public education."
According to Seufer, the attention of the omnibus education reform bill overshadowed much of the work completed by lawmakers.
"You would almost think they didn't do anything, but they did a lot," he said.
Seufer said the work by the legislature revolved around school safety.
"Whether on purpose of not, the main emphasis was about safety in schools," he said.
HB 2541 requires county boards to implement a school safety program before Sept. 1. The floor plans for each school must be provided to first responders by Sept. 1 of each school year. The bill also makes mandatory first aid and active shooter training for all personnel and students at the beginning of each school year.
SB 632 included a new addition to the state code to require cameras in special education classrooms. The bill was in reaction to disturbing audio obtained by a parent concealing a recording device in the hair of her nonverbal child attending school in Berkeley County.
Seufer noted the current special session of the legislature and court interpretation of laws could change the existing code further.