School Safety and Security Audit Toolkit
1.5 Protecting Sensitive School Audit Data
Information obtained during the district’s safety and security audits will contain sensitive safety and security information and identification of district, school, or facility vulnerabilities. It is important to utilize protections provided by Texas statute to protect sensitive information while also providing general information to parents and the community indicating district compliance and a commitment to safety and security.
Certain information identified in TEC 37.108 is not “exempted” from open records. Generally, information that can show school or district compliance with Texas statutes is not exempted. Prior to releasing information that the district feels might reveal a vulnerability that could be exploited, they may wish to seek district legal counsel or the Texas Attorney General’s legal opinion.
The Texas Education Code (TEC) 37.108(c-1). states the following:
However, certain exceptions regarding disclosure are permitted under the TEC 37.108(c-2). A document relating to a school district's multi-hazard emergency operations plan is subject to disclosure if the document enables a person to:
(1) Verify that the district has established a plan and determine the agencies involved in the development of the plan and the agencies coordinating with the district to respond to an emergency, including the Department of State Health Services, local emergency services agencies, law enforcement agencies, health departments, and fire departments;
(2) Verify that the district's plan was reviewed within the last 12 months and determine the specific review dates;
(3) Verify that the plan addresses the five phases of emergency management under Subsection (a);
(4) Verify that district employees have been trained to respond to an emergency and determine the types of training, the number of employees trained, and the person conducting the training;
(5) Verify that each campus in the district has conducted mandatory emergency drills and exercises in accordance with the plan and determine the frequency of the drills;
(6) If the district is a school district, verify that the district has established a plan for responding to a train derailment if required under Subsection (d);
(7) Verify that the district has completed a safety and security audit under Subsection (b) and determine the date the audit was conducted, the person conducting the audit, and the date the district presented the results of the audit to the district’s board of trustees;
(8) Verify that the district has addressed any recommendations by the district’s board of trustees for improvement of the plan and determine the district’s progress within the last 12 months; and
(9) If the district is a school district, verify that the district has established a visitor policy and identify the provisions governing access to a district building or other district property.
In addition, Section 552.116, Government Code reads as follows:
Finally, school boards may discuss sensitive audit data in a closed session, thus protecting that information from open records. Section 551.076, Government Code reads as follows:
In 2019, SB 11 added TEC 37.2071 District Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan Review and Verification. The subsection of this chapter, found below, addresses the protection for information the Texas School Safety Center reviews as now required under TEC 37.2071.