West Virginia

Population

1,844,128

Population 0‑18

20.6%

Internet Users

72.9%

Home Internet Subscribers

65.2%
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

2008 - Congress updated the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) through the Broadband Data Services Improvement Act to account for changes made in the 21st century. Under this act, public school that have computers with Internet access must meet CIPA guidelines to be eligible for E-rate discounts on Internet access. In West Virginia, this act affects every school.

2009 - The West Virginia Department of Education in collaboration with Gov. Joe Manchin and Verizon hosted the West Virginia Cyber Safe Summit. Gov. Manchin declared Feb. 24 as Cyber Safety Day in West Virginia.

2009 - The West Virginia Department of Education launched a pilot project in Cabell, Monongalia and Wirt counties to support cyber safety. Through this pilot, parents were made aware of safety concerns by having access to student-written and produced videos and skits, guest speakers from the West Virginia State Police, student information tables and seminars on social networking tips for parents.

2012 - To be eligible for E-Rate funding, from July 1st, 2012, in addition to compliance with CIPA, schools will also need to certify that they will educate students with regard to safe online behavior. Passed into law in January 2008, the ‘Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act’, Section 215 (titled ‘Promoting Online Safety in Schools’) inserts Section 254(h)(5)(B) (iii) of the Communications Act of 1934, requiring each school to certify that ”as part of its Internet safety policy, [it] is educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response”. The certification has to be made no later than 120 days after the beginning of the first program funding year, or as part of the application process for any subsequent year (Section 254(h)(5)(E)).

2016 - West Virginia Legislature introduced House Bill 4627, in which it is a bill to amend Code of West Virginia, 1931, by adding a new section relating to creating a digital literacy pilot project. The West Virginia Department of Education provides an excellent list of links for parents, providing them with advice on various aspects of computing and Internet safety.

2018 - HB 4250 is introduced and referred to the Committee on Education then Finance. It is a proposed pilot program that will provide equal access to high-quality digital learning solutions for all school districts of varying size and demographics throughout West Virginia. This program will hopefully demonstrate that a digital learning model would result in improved student performance no matter their socio-economic status or location. It will also provide West Virginia-specific information to inform policymakers about digital literacy and its role in shaping West Virginia specific standards.

Also in 2018, the state raised teachers’ and other state employees pay by 5%; while just a small increase, it ended an almost two week straight strike.

West Virginia Department of Education

The Department of Education works towards providing all of West Virginia’s children with superior preparation for life in the 21st century.

West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children

Founded in 2006, the local WV ICAC has been working tirelessly to education children, parents and citizens of West Virginia on online safety. They also are responsible for the investigation of Internet crimes against children.

Efficacy Study of an Integrated Digital Elementary School Mathematics Curriculum (2018)

SRI Center for Technology in Learning

This ongoing study looks into whether a specific elementary digital math curriculum can improve student learning in West Virginia. Reasoning Mind offers blended online and face-to-face instruction for fifth grade mathematics. In a two year study, launched in Fall 2014, researchers began surveying 3,500 fifth graders from 47 schools in WV.

Extended Professional Development in Project-Based Learning: Impacts on 21st Century Skills Teaching and Student Achievement (2012)

Nate K. Hixson, Jason Ravitz, Andy Whisman

This report delves into the 2008-2010 focus of the West Virginia Department of Education on a project-based learning professional development iniciative called the Teacher Leadership Institute. TLI is a yearlong experience that supports teachers in each WV county as they learn about 21st century learning experiences and creating engaging instructional designs.

Evaluating Ruralnet: Teaching with the Internet (2001)

Ravinder Koul, Randall L. Wiesenmayer, Peter A. Rubba

The West Virginia K-12 RuralNet Project provides training to public school teachers on the use of the Internet and its resources and this study presents an evaluation of the RuralNet Project and also its effectiveness of summer workshops.

This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.

Unless otherwise specified, felonies in the state of West Virginia are sentenced as follows:

  • Class 1 — These are the most serious offenses, such as murder, and are punishable by life imprisonment or the death penalty.

  • Class 2 — These are punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

  • Class 3 — These crimes carry a sentence of between five and 25 years in prison.

  • Class 4 — These are punishable by two to 10 years in prison.

  • Class 5 — These carry a fine of $2,500 and imprisonment of one to 10 years.

  • Class 6 — The maximum sentence for these is a $2,500 fine and five years in a state penitentiary.

Unless otherwise specified, misdemeanors in the state of Colorado are sentenced as follows:

  • Class 1 — A maximum sentence of 12 months in a county jail and a fine of $2,500

  • Class 2 — A maximum sentence of six months in a county jail and a fine of $1,000

  • Class 3 — A fine of $500 and usually no jail time

  • Class 4 — A fine of $250 and usually no jail time

  • West Virginia Code (WVC) §18-2C-3. Policy Prohibiting Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying. Requires each county school board to establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying, including via cell phone, computer, pager or any electronic or wireless device whatsoever. The policy has to include procedure for reporting, investigating and punishing incidents, victim protection strategies, and a required creation of a model policy in student handbooks.

  • WVC §18-2C-5. Policy Training and Education. Encourages schools and county boards to form bullying prevention task forces, programs and other initiatives. School districts shall provide training on bullying, harassment and intimidation to school employees and volunteers, as well as develop a process for educating students on the policy regarding the above.

  • WVC §61-2-17. Human Trafficking; Criminal Penalties. Imposes a penalty of three to fifteen years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $200,000 for anyone guilty of human trafficking.

  • WVC §61-2-9a. Stalking; Harassment; Penalties; Definitions. Defines the crime as where a person repeatedly follows another without good cause and with knowledge that their conduct would cause the victim to fear for their safety or to suffer emotional distress. This is classified as a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to six months in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. This section also includes the situation where a person harasses or makes repeated threats against another person, also classifying it as a misdemeanor with the penalties described previously. In the event that the offender has violated a court order preventing such behavior, they are guilty of a misdemeanor with the stronger penalty of a minimum term of 90 days and a maximum term of a year to be served in county jail, a fine of $2,000 to $5,000 or both. If the offender commits a second or subsequent offense within five years of a previous conviction, it is deemed to be a felony and is punishable by imprisonment for between one and five years, a fine of $3,000 to $10,000 or both.

  • WVC §61-2-9b. Penalties for Malicious or Unlawful Assault or Assault of a Child Near a School. Defines the offense of a person maliciously assaulting a child aged under sixteen within 1,000 feet of a school. The crime is deemed to be a felony and carries a term of imprisonment from five to fifteen years.

  • WVC §61-2-14. Abduction of Person; Kidnapping or Concealing Child; Penalties. Defines the offense of (among other definitions) taking a child under the age of sixteen for use in prostitution or concubinage. This carries a minimum term of imprisonment of three years and a maximum sentence of ten years. The section also defines the crime of taking, seizing or secreting a child under the age of sixteen for any other unlawful or immoral purpose from the persons having lawful custody of the child. This offense is deemed to be a felony and carries a term of imprisonment from one to ten years.

  • WVC §61-2-14f. Penalties for Abduction of a Child Near a School. Defines the offense of abducting a child aged sixteen or under within 1,000 feet of a school. The crime is deemed to be a felony and carries a term of imprisonment from five to fifteen years.

  • WVC §61-3C-14a. Obscene, Anonymous, Harassing and Threatening Communications by Computer; Penalty. This section defines the crime of a person using a computer, mobile phone or other electronic communication device with the intent to harass, abuse or send obscene material (after having been asked to desist) to a specific person. This is deemed to be a misdemeanor and carries a term of imprisonment of up to six months in county jail, a fine of up to $500 or both. A second or subsequent offense is also deemed to be a misdemeanor but the sentence increases to up to a year’s imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

  • WVC §61-3C-14b. Soliciting, etc. a Minor via Computer; Penalty. States that it is a crime for a person over the age of eighteen to use a computer to solicit, entice, seduce or lure (or attempt to do any of those things) a minor, who is at least four years younger than them, to commit any illegal sexual act. The punishment for this offense, which is deemed to be a felony, ranges from two to ten years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

  • WVC §61-8-9. Indecent Exposure. States that it is a criminal offense for a person to expose their sex organs or anus with the knowledge that it is likely to cause affront or alarm. The punishment for this is up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $250 or both. Where the exposure took place for the purposes of sexual gratification, the sentence increases to twelve months’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $500 or both; a second offense carries a term of imprisonment of between 30 days and one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both, and a third offense of this type is deemed a felony, increasing the sentence from one to five years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $3,000 or both.

  • WVC §61-8-28. Criminal Invasion of Privacy; Penalties. This section defines the offense of visually portraying someone in a nude or partially nude state without consent, in a place where the victim would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The crime is deemed to be a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in county jail for up to a year, a fine of $5,000 or both. The same classification and penalty applies to someone who displays or distributes those images. A second or subsequent conviction is deemed to be a felony and is punishable by between one and five years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

  • WVC §61-8A-2. Distribution and Display to Minor of Obscene Matter; Penalties; Defenses. States that it is an offense for an adult to distribute or to display to a minor any material considered to be obscene. The crime is deemed to be a felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $25,000 or both.

  • WVC §61-8A-4. Use of Obscene Matter with Intent to Seduce Minor. This section states that an adult who shows or displays obscene content to a minor for the purposes of facilitating sexual seduction or abuse of a minor is guilty of a felony. The punishment for this offense is imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $25,000 or both. For a second or subsequent offense the fine increases to up to $50,000 and the term of imprisonment to up to ten years.

  • WVC §61-8A-5. Employment or Use of Minor to Produce Obscene Matter or Assist in Doing Sexually Explicit Conduct; Penalties. States that where a person hires, employs or uses a minor to produce obscene matter or to do or assist in doing any sexually explicit conduct they are guilty of a felony. The penalty for this offense is a fine of up to $50,000, imprisonment for up to ten years or both.

  • WVC §61-8B-3. Sexual Assault in the First Degree. Declares that a person is guilty of this offense if (among other definitions) they are aged fourteen or over and engage in sexual intrusion with a child under the age of twelve, or where serious injury results to the victim. The crime is deemed to be a felony and is punishable by a term of imprisonment is from fifteen to 35 years, a fine of $1,000 to $10,000 or both. Where the offender is eighteen or over and the victim is under the age of twelve the sentence increases to between 25 and 100 years’ imprisonment, a fine of $5,000 to $25,000 or both.

  • WVC §61-8B-4. Sexual Assault in the Second Degree. States that it is a crime to engage in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion without consent or by the use of compulsion. The penalty for this offense is a term of imprisonment from ten to 25 years, a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000.

  • WVC §61-8B-5. Sexual Assault in the Third Degree. It is an offense under this section for a person aged sixteen or over to engage in sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of sixteen and at least four years younger than the defendant. This offense is deemed to be a felony and carries a sentence of between one and five years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

  • WVC §61-8B-7. Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. States that it is unlawful under this section to engage in sexual contact without consent or with a child under the age of twelve, where the offender is at least fourteen years old. The crime is deemed to be a felony and carries a penalty of between one and five years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000 or both. Where the offender is over eighteen and the victim is under twelve years of age the sentence increases to between five and 25 years’ imprisonment a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000 or both.

  • WVC §61-8B-8. Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree. Defines the offense as to subject another person to sexual contact who is mentally defective or mentally incapacitated. This offense is classified as a misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of twelve months’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $500 or both.

  • WVC §61-8B-9. Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree. This section states that it is a crime to subject a minor to sexual contact when they are under sixteen and are therefore unable to consent due to their age. It is a defense to this charge to say that the defendant is also under sixteen, or that the defendant was less than four years older than the victim. The offense is classified as a misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to 90 days’ imprisonment in county jail, a fine of up to $500 or both.

  • WVC §61-8B-9a. Mandatory Sentence for Person Committing Certain Sex Offenses Against Children. This section states that anyone convicted of certain sex offenses against children will not be eligible for parole, home incarceration or an alternative sentence if any of the following applies: forcible compulsion was used in the commission of the crime, the offense constituted a predatory act, the person used a weapon or the offender removed the victim from one place to another and did not release them in a safe place.

  • WVC §61-8B-9b. Enhanced Penalties for Subsequent Offenses Committed by Those Previously Convicted of Sexually Violent Offenses Against Children. This section imposes a maximum prison sentence of 150 years for certain sexually violent offenses committed against children. The offender would not be eligible for parole, home incarceration or any alternative sentence and time must be served in a state facility.

  • §61-8B-11a. Convictions for offenses against children. States that in any case where a person is convicted of an offense described in this article against a child and the person has custodial, visitation or other parental rights to the child who is the victim of the offense or any child who resides in the same household as the victim, the court shall, at the time of sentencing, find that the person is an abusing parent within the meaning of article six, chapter forty-nine of this code as to the child victim, and may find that the person is an abusing parent as to any child who resides in the same household as the victim, and shall take such further action in accord with provisions of said article.

  • WVC §61-8C-2. Use of Minors in Filming Sexually Explicit Conduct Prohibited; Penalty. States that it is a felony for any person to permit, entice, or persuade (among other definitions) a minor to engage in any sexually explicit conduct with the knowledge that it is being recorded or photographed. The penalty for this is up to ten years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000 or both. The same penalty also applies to the person filming the conduct and any parent or guardian who permits their child to participate in such activity.

  • WVC §61-8C-3. Distribution and Exhibiting of Material Depicting Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct Prohibited; Penalty. States that anyone who distributes material portraying a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct commits a felony and will be sentenced to a maximum of two years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,000.

  • WVC §61-8C-3a. Prohibiting Child Erotica; Penalties. This section states that any adult who produces, possesses, displays or distributes, in any form, any visual depiction of a partially clothed minor aged sixteen or seventeen for purely prurient purposes, is guilty of a misdemeanor and liable to imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

  • §61-8D-6. Sending, distributing, exhibiting, possessing, displaying or transporting material by a parent, guardian or custodian, depicting a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct; penalty. This section states that any parent, guardian or custodian who, with knowledge, sends or causes to be sent, or distributes, exhibits, possesses, displays or transports, any material visually portraying a child under his or her care, custody or control engaged in any sexually explicit conduct, is guilty or a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary not more than two years, and fined not less than four hundred dollars nor more than four thousand dollars.