State law regulation or district policy requires districts to adopt threat assessment policies.
School Safety-Related Legislation
This document addresses implementing threat assessment plans
Texas Statutes Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27. Notification to Schools Required.
(a) A law enforcement agency that arrests any person or refers a child to the office or official designated by the juvenile board who the agency believes is enrolled as a student in a public primary or secondary school, for an offense listed in Subsection (h), shall attempt to ascertain whether the person is so enrolled. If the law enforcement agency ascertains that the individual is enrolled as a student in a public primary or secondary school, the head of the agency or a person designated by the head of the agency shall orally notify the superintendent or a person designated by the superintendent in the school district in which the student is enrolled of that arrest or referral within 24 hours after the arrest or referral is made, or before the next school day, whichever is earlier. If the law enforcement agency cannot ascertain whether the individual is enrolled as a student, the head of the agency or a person designated by the head of the agency shall orally notify the superintendent or a person designated by the superintendent in the school district in which the student is believed to be enrolled of that arrest or detention within 24 hours after the arrest or detention, or before the next school day, whichever is earlier. If the individual is a student, the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee shall immediately notify all instructional and support personnel who have responsibility for supervision of the student. All personnel shall keep the information received in this subsection confidential. The State Board for Educator Certification may revoke or suspend the certification of personnel who intentionally violate this subsection. Within seven days after the date the oral notice is given, the head of the law enforcement agency or the person designated by the head of the agency shall mail written notification, marked “PERSONAL and CONFIDENTIAL” on the mailing envelope, to the superintendent or the person designated by the superintendent. The written notification must include the facts contained in the oral notification, the name of the person who was orally notified, and the date and time of the oral notification. Both the oral and written notice shall contain sufficient details of the arrest or referral and the acts allegedly committed by the student to enable the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee to determine whether there is a reasonable belief that the student has engaged in conduct defined as a felony offense by the Penal Code or whether it is necessary to conduct a threat assessment or prepare a safety plan related to the student. The information contained in the notice shall be considered by the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee in making such a determination.
Texas Statutes Education Code 37.115. Threat Assessment and Safe and Supportive School Program and Team.
(a) In this section: (1) “Harmful, threatening, or violent behavior” includes behaviors, such as verbal threats, threats of self harm, bullying, cyberbullying, fighting, the use or possession of a weapon, sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, stalking, or assault, by a student that could result in: (A) specific interventions, including mental health or behavioral supports; (B) in-school suspension; (C) out-of-school suspension; or (D) the student’s expulsion or removal to a disciplinary alternative education program or a juvenile justice alternative education program. (2) “Team” means a threat assessment and safe and supportive school team established by the board of trustees of a school district under this section. (b) The agency, in coordination with the Texas School Safety Center, shall adopt rules to establish a safe and supportive school program. The rules shall incorporate research-based best practices for school safety, including providing for: (1) physical and psychological safety; (2) a multiphase and multihazard approach to prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery in a crisis situation; (3) a systemic and coordinated multitiered support system that addresses school climate, the social and emotional domain, and behavioral and mental health; and (4) multidisciplinary and multiagency collaboration to assess risks and threats in schools and provide appropriate interventions, including rules for the establishment and operation of teams. (c) The board of trustees of each school district shall establish a threat assessment and safe and supportive school team to serve at each campus of the district and shall adopt policies and procedures for the teams. The team is responsible for developing and implementing the safe and supportive school program under Subsection (b) at the district campus served by the team. The policies and procedures adopted under this section must: (1) be consistent with the model policies and procedures developed by the Texas School Safety Center; (2) require each team to complete training provided by the Texas School Safety Center or a regional education service center regarding evidence-based threat assessment programs; and (3) require each team established under this section to report the information required under Subsection (k) regarding the team’s activities to the agency. (d) The superintendent of the district shall ensure that the members appointed to each team have expertise in counseling, behavior management, mental health and substance use, classroom instruction, special education, school administration, school safety and security, emergency management, and law enforcement. A team may serve more than one campus of a school district, provided that each district campus is assigned a team. (e) The superintendent of a school district may establish a committee, or assign to an existing committee established by the district, the duty to oversee the operations of teams established for the district. A committee with oversight responsibility under this subsection must include members with expertise in human resources, education, special education, counseling, behavior management, school administration, mental health and substance use, school safety and security, emergency management, and law enforcement. (f) Each team shall: (1) conduct a threat assessment that includes: (A) assessing and reporting individuals who make threats of violence or exhibit harmful, threatening, or violent behavior in accordance with the policies and procedures adopted under Subsection (c); and (B) gathering and analyzing data to determine the level of risk and appropriate intervention, including: (i) referring a student for mental health assessment; and (ii) implementing an escalation procedure, if appropriate based on the team’s assessment, in accordance with district policy; (2) provide guidance to students and school employees on recognizing harmful, threatening, or violent behavior that may pose a threat to the community, school, or individual; and (3) support the district in implementing the district’s multihazard emergency operations plan. (g) A team may not provide a mental health care service to a student who is under 18 years of age unless the team obtains written consent from the parent of or person standing in parental relation to the student before providing the mental health care service. The consent required by this subsection must be submitted on a form developed by the school district that complies with all applicable state and federal law. The student’s parent or person standing in parental relation to the student may give consent for a student to receive ongoing services or may limit consent to one or more services provided on a single occasion. (h) On a determination that a student or other individual poses a serious risk of violence to self or others, a team shall immediately report the team’s determination to the superintendent. If the individual is a student, the superintendent shall immediately attempt to inform the parent or person standing in parental relation to the student. The requirements of this subsection do not prevent an employee of the school from acting immediately to prevent an imminent threat or respond to an emergency. (i) A team identifying a student at risk of suicide shall act in accordance with the district’s suicide prevention program. If the student at risk of suicide also makes a threat of violence to others, the team shall conduct a threat assessment in addition to actions taken in accordance with the district’s suicide prevention program. (j) A team identifying a student using or possessing tobacco, drugs, or alcohol shall act in accordance with district policies and procedures related to substance use prevention and intervention. (k) A team must report to the agency in accordance with guidelines developed by the agency the following information regarding the team’s activities and other information for each school district campus the team serves: (1) the occupation of each person appointed to the team; (2) the number of threats and a description of the type of the threats reported to the team; (3) the outcome of each assessment made by the team, including: (A) any disciplinary action taken, including a change in school placement; (B) any action taken by law enforcement; or (C) a referral to or change in counseling, mental health, special education, or other services; (4) the total number, disaggregated by student gender, race, and status as receiving special education services, being at risk of dropping out of school, being in foster care, experiencing homelessness, being a dependent of military personnel, being pregnant or a parent, having limited English proficiency, or being a migratory child, of, in connection with an assessment or reported threat by the team: (A) citations issued for Class C misdemeanor offenses; (B) arrests; (C) incidents of uses of restraint; (D) changes in school placement, including placement in a juvenile justice alternative education program or disciplinary alternative education program; (E) referrals to or changes in counseling, mental health, special education, or other services; (F) placements in in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension and incidents of expulsion; (G) unexcused absences of 15 or more days during the school year; and (H) referrals to juvenile court for truancy; and (5) the number and percentage of school personnel trained in: (A) a best-practices program or research-based practice under Section 161.325, Health and Safety Code, including the number and percentage of school personnel trained in: (i) suicide prevention; or (ii) grief and trauma-informed practices; (B) mental health or psychological first aid for schools; (C) training relating to the safe and supportive school program established under Subsection (b); or (D) any other program relating to safety identified by the commissioner. (l) The commissioner may adopt rules to implement this section.
Texas Statutes Education Code 37.220. Model Threat Assessment Team Policies and Procedures.
(a) The center, in coordination with the agency, shall develop model policies and procedures to assist school districts in establishing and training threat assessment teams. (b) The model policies and procedures developed under Subsection (a) must include procedures, when appropriate, for: (1) the referral of a student to a local mental health authority or health care provider for evaluation or treatment; (2) the referral of a student for a full individual and initial evaluation for special education services under Section 29.004; and (3) a student or school personnel to anonymously report dangerous, violent, or unlawful activity that occurs or is threatened to occur on school property or that relates to a student or school personnel.