A high demand incident or major emergency can tax any entity beyond its readily available resources. School districts are no exception. The deaths of students and staff may require additional trauma counselors to support students, staff and the community. The recovery phase of an active shooter event may require additional law enforcement to ensure safety and security and enhance traffic management. The expertise of an area mental health agency might be needed to provide bereavement and crisis counseling to students or staff in need of assistance and support ongoing crisis response training for school personnel. Emergency agreements facilitate the rapid mobilization of needed resources by formalizing commitments, specifying roles and detailing processes.
Texas Education Code (TEC) Section 37.2121 requires that the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) identify and inform school districts of the types of entities, including local and regional authorities, other school districts and emergency first responders, with whom school districts should customarily make efforts to enter into memoranda of understanding or mutual aid agreements addressing issues that affect school safety and security. These agreements facilitate the rapid sharing of emergency aid and resources. Formalized, pre-event agreements can also support and/or expedite FEMA reimbursement for services, equipment, and supplies after a declared disaster.
The Texas Unified School Safety and Security Standards provide a set of criteria to assist school districts in developing and implementing a comprehensive emergency management program consistent with the requirements of TEC 37.108, other legal provisions and best practices. Standard 2.9 of the Texas Unified School Safety and Security Standards states that “the school district should adopt mutual-aid agreements, memoranda of understanding, inter-jurisdictional/inter-local agreements and other agreements to support comprehensive emergency preparedness.” The Standards in their entirety can be viewed in our School Safety and Security Standards Toolkit.