A Parent's Guide to School Safety Toolkit
2.1 School Safety and Security Audit
A school safety and security audit is done on a regular basis to identify current safety and security-related concerns and areas for improvement. A school safety and security audit is like a home inspection. Home inspectors identify current and potential hazards, for example, windows that no longer open because they are painted shut, roofs that are leaking because they are old or damaged from hail, and other safety-related concerns.
The audit process involves a comprehensive and detailed security evaluation of all exterior and interior facilities on each school campus in the district. School safety auditors also review safety and security policies and procedures. School safety and security auditors may identify hazards such as broken or sharp playground equipment, chemicals incorrectly stored or labeled, doors that should have locks that do not, school staff not wearing badges, or school staff allowing visitors inside the school building without verifying who they are.
Who performs the audit?
School districts have the choice to conduct the audit themselves, or they may hire a third party to conduct the audit for them. The Texas Legislature has tasked the TxSSC with establishing the training and educational requirements for auditors who may be hired to conduct audits of district facilities. Auditors who have been vetted by the TxSSC will be listed on a TxSSC registry launching in 2021.
For districts who choose to conduct their own audit, the TxSSC provides free, non-mandatory training on how to conduct a school safety and security audit.
Who are the results reported to?
Audit result summaries are reported every three years to the TxSSC. The reporting cycle year varies for open-enrollment charter schools, public junior college districts, and K-12 school districts. Upon audit completion, the audit team presents the results to the district’s school safety and security committee, and then to the district board of trustees for review and recommendations. Once the board of trustees accepts the audit results, a summary of the findings is reported to the Texas School Safety Center. The TxSSC incorporates findings as aggregate data into a statewide report for the public. The District Audit Report (DAR) for each type of public school district is found on the TxSSC website.
Can I get a copy of the audit?
While a district may choose to release results from a safety and security audit, most districts do not make the results public as they could expose potential vulnerabilities. By law, the audit results must be presented to the board of trustees. This usually takes place in executive session, which means it is done privately to ensure confidentiality. The district then addresses any recommendations made by the board.
By law TEC 37.108(c-2), certain provisions of emergency operations plans and safety and security audit reviews are deemed public information.
- Texas Education Code 37.108 | Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan; Safety and Security Audit