School Safety Law Toolkit

House Bill 1783

The bill allows any employee of a school district or an open-enrollment charter school who witnessed a crime at the school to report the crime to any peace officer with authority to investigate the crime. School districts and charter schools are prohibited from adopting policies that required employees to refrain from reporting a crime or requiring that a crime witnessed at school be reported only to certain persons or peace officers.

The bill amended Section 39.06(a), Penal Code, dealing with misuse of official information. Under current law, a public servant, including a principal of a school, commits an offense if he or she coerces another into suppressing or failing to report information to a law enforcement agency. The bill clarified that the provision extends to any school administrator.

The bill requires the superintendent or director of a school district, open-enrollment charter school, regional education service center (RESC), or shared services arrangement (SSA) to report to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) criminal records of employees or applicants obtained from sources other than the criminal history clearinghouse; and report an employee who was terminated or resigned based on evidence of certain unlawful acts.

See sections in the Texas Education Code:

TEC 37.12.104 Applicability of title.

TEC 37.22.087 Notification to state board for educator certification.