TASB Risk Management Fund

Improving Campus Safety through a Community Approach

August 22, 2019 Melanie Moss and April Mabry

A community approach to building safe and secure schools benefits principals and helps prepare for a variety of emergencies. Managing budgets, evaluating staff, and implementing academic programs are just a handful of duties competing for campus administrators’ attention. They also must carve out time for an extremely important responsibility: ensuring schools remain safe. Too often, administrators shoulder that responsibility alone, but new requirements from the 86th Session of the Texas Legislature encourages community partnerships to increase the safety of schools.

New Texas requirements

Senate Bill (SB) 11, one of the legislative session’s more comprehensive bills, is designed to improve school safety and promote mental health in schools and community colleges.

Beginning in 2019–2020, new mandates related to school security include:

  • Training for district employees, including substitute teachers, to respond in an emergency
  • Access for employees to a telephone or other electronic communication device for immediate contact with certain emergency services, law enforcement agencies, health departments, and fire departments in an emergency
  • Improved infrastructure and technology to allow for communication during an emergency
  • Mandatory school drills to prepare students and employees for responding to an emergency
  • Professional development and training for school personnel in suicide prevention, grief, and trauma-informed care to respond to students in crisis
  • Training for members of the school safety and security committee, school counselors and mental health professionals, and other key personnel in the district in integrating psychological safety strategies into the district improvement plan
  • Mandatory training for commissioned peace officers in crisis response management

State-level rules and regulations are in development and information will be provided when rules are finalized. For now, districts must start planning for implementation, and they’re encouraged to use community resources to support development of these comprehensive measures.

Read more about the new Bill and the community approach to safety and security in the full article on the HRX blog.

Tagged: Safety, "school safety"