School Safety Law Toolkit
Effective Date: June 18, 2021. Applies beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.
Requires school boards to adopt a bullying policy and procedures that “prevents and mediates bullying incidents between students that interfere with a student's educational opportunities; or substantially disrupt the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.” The school boards bullying policy must comply with TEA's adopted minimum standards.
The TEA is required to adopt minimum standards for a school district's policy which must:
- Emphasize bullying prevention through focusing on school climate and building healthy relationships between students and staff.
- Require each school campus to establish a committee to address bullying with a focus on prevention efforts and health and wellness initiatives.
- Require students in each grade level to periodically meet for instruction on building relationships and preventing bullying, including cyberbullying.
- Emphasize increasing student reporting of bullying incidents to school employees by raising awareness of reporting procedures and anonymous reporting of bullying incidents.
- Require districts to annually collect information through student surveys on bullying and cyberbullying. The TEA is to use survey results to develop action plans to address student bullying and cyberbullying concerns.
- Require districts to develop a rubric or checklist to assess a bullying incident and to determine the district's response to the incident.
The policy and procedures must be included annually in student and employee handbooks and in the district improvement plan.
By commissioner rule, each school district and open-enrollment charter school is required to annually report through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) the number of reported incidents of bullying that occurred at each campus and to specify the number of incidents that involved cyberbullying.