School Safety Law Toolkit
Effective Date: December 2, 2021. Applies beginning with the 2022-2023 school year.
- Identifying and Reporting Suspected Child Abuse, Neglect, and Human Trafficking Requirements Checklist
- Child Abuse Prevention Mandatory Reporting, Training, and Reminders
- Guidance for Texas School Administrators on Addressing Child Abuse, Neglect, and Trafficking
- TEA Child Abuse, Family Violence, Dating Violence, and Human Trafficking Frequently Asked Questions
School Health Advisory Council
- Added duties for the local school health advisory councils (SHAC’s). Duties include recommending appropriate grade levels and curriculum for instruction on topics including child abuse, family violence, dating violence, sex trafficking, and warning signs of sex trafficking. SHAC recommendations may not conflict the essential knowledge and skills developed by the State Board of Education.
- Requires the school board to adopt a policy for the process of adopting curriculum materials on the prevention of child abuse, family violence, dating violence, and sex trafficking. The policy must require the board to have a plan for how they will convene SHAC members for curriculum recommendation purposes. After the SHAC members are convened, the policy must require they have at least two public SHAC meetings prior to curriculum material adoption, and that SHAC recommendations are provided to the board at a public board meeting. The board must record their votes regarding curriculum adoption at a public meeting. Prior to adopting any curriculum materials, the board is responsible for ensuring that the materials are based on SHAC advice, the content is suitable for the subject and grade level intended, and that it is reviewed by academic experts. The board is authorized to determine the specific content of the instruction, including the essential knowledge and skills which address these topics developed by the State Board of Education.
- Requires school districts to make all curriculum materials used for instruction to prevent child abuse, family violence, dating violence, and sex trafficking to be made available to parents. If these materials are not copyrighted, districts must send a copy to a parent upon request, and they must post the materials on the district's website.
- If these materials are purchased and copyrighted, districts are required to ensure that their purchase agreement provides for a way for parents to review the materials either at the student's campus or online, while complying with copyright laws, or to purchase a copy at a price no higher than what the district paid per unit.
- The school board, with SHAC input, is responsible for the decision of whether instruction will be provided on these topics, and if so, the selection and addition of course materials, curriculum, and instruction.
- Prior to each school year, districts are required to provide written notice to parents on the board decision of whether instruction will be provided on child abuse prevention, family violence, dating violence, and sex trafficking. If instruction will be provided, certain requirements, including a detailed description of the content, schedule for instruction, parental rights, and grievance procedures must be included in the parental notice. Districts must have written parental consent before students may be instructed on the prevention of child abuse, family violence, dating violence, and sex trafficking. The request for parental consent must be provided prior to the 14th day before the instruction begins.
Dating Violence Policy and Materials
- The dating violence policy adopted and implemented by a school district must include “a clear statement that dating violence is not tolerated at school”, and it must also include reporting procedures for students who are experiencing dating violence. The policy must include the procedure for immediate notification to a parent about a report received by the district identifying their child as being an alleged victim or perpetrator of dating violence.
- Districts must make reasonable efforts to make age-appropriate educational materials on the dangers of dating violence and resources available to students.