A. A teacher or other public school employee, whether full-time or part-time, permanent, or temporary, may be suspended for good and just cause when the safety or welfare of the school division or the students therein is threatened or when the teacher or school employee has been charged by summons, warrant, indictment or information with the commission of a felony; a misdemeanor involving (i) sexual assault as established in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, (ii) obscenity and related offenses as established in Article 5 (§ 18.2-372 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 18.2, (iii) drugs as established in Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2, (iv) moral turpitude, or (v) the physical or sexual abuse or neglect of a child; or an equivalent offense in another state. Except when a teacher or school employee is suspended because of being charged by summons, warrant, indictment or information with the commission of one of the above-listed criminal offenses, a division superintendent or appropriate central office designee shall not suspend a teacher or school employee for longer than sixty days and shall not suspend a teacher or school employee for a period in excess of five days unless such teacher or school employee is advised in writing of the reason for the suspension and afforded an opportunity for a hearing before the school board in accordance with §§ 22.1-311 and 22.1-313, if applicable. Any teacher or other school employee so suspended shall continue to receive his or her then applicable salary unless and until the school board, after a hearing, determines otherwise. No teacher or school employee shall be suspended solely on the basis of his or her refusal to submit to a polygraph examination requested by the school board.
B. Any school employee suspended because of being charged by summons, warrant, information or indictment with one of the offenses listed in subsection A may be suspended with or without pay. In the event any school employee is suspended without pay, an amount equal to his or her salary while on suspended status shall be placed in an interest-bearing demand escrow account. Upon being found not guilty of one of the offenses listed in subsection A or upon the dismissal or nolle prosequi of the charge, such school employee shall be reinstated with all unpaid salary and accrued interest from the escrow account, less any earnings received by the school employee during the period of suspension, but in no event shall such payment exceed one year’s salary.
C. In the event any school employee is found guilty by an appropriate court of one of the offenses listed in subsection A and, after all available appeals have been exhausted and such conviction is upheld, all funds in the escrow account shall be repaid to the school board.
E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of a school board to dismiss or place on probation a teacher or school employee pursuant to Article 3 (§ 22.1-306 et seq.) of this chapter.
F. For the purposes of this section, the placing of a school employee on probation pursuant to the terms and conditions of § 18.2-251 shall be deemed a finding of guilt.
Code 1950, §§ 22-72, 22-97, 22-217.8:1; 1954, cc. 289, 291; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 60; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 79, § 1; 1966, c. 691; 1968, c. 501; 1970, c. 71; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 161; 1972, c. 511; 1975, cc. 308, 328; 1978, c. 430; 1979, c. 298; 1980, c. 559; 1987, c. 328; 1993, c. 498; 1996, c. 960; 1997, c. 721; 2001, cc. 430, 450.