State law requires districts to implement multi-hazard practice drills (e.g., fire, lockdown, active shooter, or evacuation drills) without requiring inter-agency coordination.
Texas Statutes Education Code 37.108 Multihazard Emergency Operations Plan; Safety and Security and Security Audit
(a) Each school district or public junior college district shall adopt and implement a multihazard emergency operations plan for use in the district’s facilities. The plan must address prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery as defined by the Texas School Safety Center in conjunction with the governor’s office of homeland security and the commissioner of education or commissioner of higher education, as applicable. The plan must provide for: (1) training in responding to an emergency for district employees, including substitute teachers; (2) measures to ensure district employees, including substitute teachers, have classroom access to a telephone, including a cellular telephone, or another electronic communication device allowing for immediate contact with district emergency services or emergency services agencies, law enforcement agencies, health departments, and fire departments; (3) measures to ensure district communications technology and infrastructure are adequate to allow for communication during an emergency; (4) if the plan applies to a school district, mandatory school drills and exercises, including drills required under Section 37.114, to prepare district students and employees for responding to an emergency; (5) measures to ensure coordination with the Department of State Health Services and local emergency management agencies, law enforcement, health departments, and fire departments in the event of an emergency; and (6) the implementation of a safety and security audit as required by Subsection (b). (b) At least once every three years, each school district or public junior college district shall conduct a safety and security audit of the district’s facilities. To the extent possible, a district shall follow safety and security audit procedures developed by the Texas School Safety Center or a person included in the registry established by the Texas School Safety Center under Section 37.2091. (b-1) In a school district’s safety and security audit required under Subsection (b), the district must certify that the district used the funds provided to the district through the school safety allotment under Section 42.168 only for the purposes provided by that section. (c) A school district or public junior college district shall report the results of the safety and security audit conducted under Subsection (b) to the district’s board of trustees and, in the manner required by the Texas School Safety Center, to the Texas School Safety Center. The report provided to the Texas School Safety Center under this subsection must be signed by: (1) for a school district, the district’s board of trustees and superintendent; or (2) for a public junior college district, the president of the junior college district. (c-1) Except as provided by Subsection (c-2), any document or information collected, developed, or produced during a safety and security audit conducted under Subsection (b) is not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code. (c-2) A document relating to a school district’s or public junior college district’s multihazard 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 four 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 th e 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. (d) A school district shall include in its multihazard emergency operations plan a policy for responding to a train derailment near a district school. A school district is only required to adopt the policy described by this subsection if a district school is located within 1,000 yards of a railroad track, as measured from any point on the school’s real property boundary line. The school district may use any available community resources in developing the policy described by this subsection. (e) A school district shall include in its multihazard emergency operations plan a policy for school district property selected for use as a polling place under Section 43.031, Election Code. In developing the policy under this subsection, the board of trustees may consult with the local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the school district property selected as a polling place regarding reasonable security accommodations that may be made to the property. This subsection may not be interpreted to require the board of trustees to obtain or contract for the presence of law enforcement or security personnel for the purpose of securing a polling place located on school district property. Failure to comply with this subsection does not affect the requirement of the board of trustees to make a school facility available for use as a polling place under Section 43.031, Election Code. (f) A school district shall include in its multihazard emergency operations plan: (1) a chain of command that designates the individual responsible for making final decisions during a disaster or emergency situation and identifies other individuals responsible for making those decisions if the designated person is unavailable; (2) provisions that address physical and psychological safety for responding to a natural disaster, active shooter, and any other dangerous scenario identified for purposes of this section by the agency or the Texas School Safety Center; (3) provisions for ensuring the safety of students in portable buildings; (4) provisions for ensuring that students and district personnel with disabilities are provided equal access to safety during a disaster or emergency situation; (5) provisions for providing immediate notification to parents, guardians, and other persons standing in parental relation in circumstances involving a significant threat to the health or safety of students, including identification of the individual with responsibility for overseeing the notification; (6) provisions for supporting the psychological safety of students, district personnel, and the community during the response and recovery phase following a disaster or emergency situation that: (A) are aligned with best practice-based programs and research-based practices recommended under Section 161.325, Health and Safety Code; (B) include strategies for ensuring any required professional development training for suicide prevention and grief-informed and trauma-informed care is provided to appropriate school personnel; (C) include training on integrating psychological safety and suicide prevention strategies into the district’s plan, such as psychological first aid for schools training, from an approved list of recommended training established by the commissioner and Texas School Safety Center for: (i) members of the district’s school safety and security committee under Section 37.109; (ii) district school counselors and mental health professionals; and (iii) educators and other district personnel as determined by the district; (D) include strategies and procedures for integrating and supporting physical and psychological safety that align with the provisions described by Subdivision (2); and (E) implement trauma-informed policies; (7) a policy for providing a substitute teacher access to school campus buildings and materials necessary for the substitute teacher to carry out the duties of a district employee during an emergency or a mandatory emergency drill; and (8) the name of each individual on the district’s school safety and security committee established under Section 37.109 and the date of each committee meeting during the preceding year. (g) A school district shall include in its multihazard emergency operations plan a policy for responding to an active shooter emergency. The school district may use any available community resources in developing the policy described by this subsection.
Texas Statutes Education Code 37.114. Emergency Evacuations; Mandatory School Drills.
The commissioner, in consultation with the Texas School Safety Center and the state fire marshal, shall adopt rules: (1) providing procedures for evacuating and securing school property during an emergency; and (2) designating the number of mandatory school drills to be conducted each semester of the school year, not to exceed eight drills, including designating the number of: (A) evacuation fire exit drills; and (B) lockdown, lockout, shelter-in-place, and evacuation drills.