School Safety Law Toolkit
Effective Date: June 18, 2021
- Notwithstanding Texas Government Code 2054.5191, only the district’s cybersecurity coordinator is required to complete the cybersecurity training on an annual basis. All other district employees are required to complete the training as determined by their district and their district’s cybersecurity coordinator.
Staff development changes
- Staff development training provided to an educator other than a principal, as described in TEC 21.451(d)(3), must include “suicide prevention; strategies for establishing and maintaining positive relationships among students, including conflict resolution; and preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying.” (Removed requirements for training on specific mental health topics including “recognizing signs of mental health conditions and substance abuse” and “how grief and trauma affect student learning and behavior and how evidence-based, grief-informed, and trauma-informed strategies support the academic success of students affected by grief and trauma.”)
- These staff development trainings must be provided in accordance with the professional development policy detailed in TEC 21.4515. (Removed requirements for training as part of new employee orientation for school district and open enrollment charter school educators, and to existing school district and other open enrollment charter schools on a schedule adopted by the agency by rule.)
Comprehensive clearinghouse and clearinghouse advisory group
- Requires the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to create and publish a comprehensive clearinghouse of information surrounding training and continuing education requirements for school district personnel including educators. It must include best practices and recommendations for training frequency. The clearinghouse must be published by June 1, 2022, and clearly state that the clearinghouse reflects the input from the clearinghouse advisory group, described below.
- The SBEC must create a clearinghouse advisory group which consists of classroom teachers, other educators, and representatives of organizations which represent educators. This advisory group must review and provide input on the clearinghouse of information, and submit a report to legislators of their recommendations, including whether any continuing education and training can be eliminated, reduced, or consolidated with other trainings. This report is due to legislators by December 1st of each even-numbered year.
Professional Development Policy
- Requires school boards and governing bodies of open-enrollment charter schools to annually review the published clearinghouse information and adopt a professional development policy guided by the clearinghouse recommendations. They must also note differences in their policy from the published recommendations and include a schedule for all training requirements. Frequency requirements provided by statute prevail over the local policy. Parameters for the commissioner of education on rulemaking for training frequency are also outlined.
- Training to increase awareness of, prevent, and recognize issues regarding sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and maltreatment of children must be in accordance with the districts Professional Development Policy. (Removed the requirement that all existing district and open-enrollment charter school employees are trained per the TEA rules until all employees have taken the training.)
- Training to increase awareness and implement trauma-informed care must be in accordance with the district's Professional Development Policy.
- Each school district must adopt a professional development policy in accordance with TEC 21.4515 no later than August 1, 2022.
- A school district who provides the training required in TEC 38.351(g) and (h) must follow their professional development policy (TEC 21.4515) in requiring the training to be completed and maintain records of who attended the training.
Dating Violence Policy
- A district's dating violence policy must include training for teachers and administrators at each campus “that instructs students in grade six or higher.”
Traumatic Injury Response Protocol Training
- Amended language so that training on the use of bleeding control stations may be provided as an online course.
Trauma-Informed Care Training and Policy
- Training to increase staff and parent awareness and implement trauma-informed care must address “how grief and trauma affect student learning and behavior and how evidence-based, grief-informed, and trauma-informed strategies support the academic success of students affected by grief and trauma.”
- The training must be selected from a list of recommended best programs described in TEC 38.351. (This list was previously coded under Texas Health and Safety Code 161.325.)
- Training may include two or more topics at the same time.
- Each district must maintain records of staff members who attended the training.
- Training to increase awareness and implement trauma-informed care must be in accordance with the district's Professional Development Policy. Removed requirement that existing school district educators must be trained to keep them appraised of developments in this area on a schedule adopted by TEA rule.