Texas - School Resource Officer Training: Staff Qualifications and Professional Development

Area: 
Staff Qualifications And Professional Development
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law requires SROs to complete specialized training to meet the safety needs of the school environment.

Texas Statutes Education Code 37.0812 Training Policy: School District Peace Officers and School Resource Officers

A school district with an enrollment of 30,000 or more students that commissions a school district peace officer or at which a school resource officer provides law enforcement shall adopt a policy requiring the officer to complete the education and training program required by Section 1701.263, Occupations Code.


Texas Statutes Health and Safety Code 1001.203 Grants for Training Certain University Employees, School District Employees, and School Resource Officers in Mental Health First Aid

(a)  To the extent funds are appropriated to the department for that purpose, the department shall make grants to local mental health authorities to provide an approved mental health first aid training program, administered by mental health first aid trainers, at no cost to university employees, school district employees, and school resource officers.

(b)  [Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., ch. 836 (S.B. 133), § 8(2), effective June 17, 2015.]
(c)  The department shall grant $100 to a local mental health authority for each university employee, school district employee, or school resource officer who successfully completes a mental health first aid training program provided by the authority under this section.

(d)  A mental health first aid training program provided by a local mental health authority under this section must:

  • (1)  be conducted by a person trained as a mental health first aid trainer;

  • (2)  provide participants with the skills necessary to help an individual experiencing a mental health crisis until the individual is able to obtain appropriate professional care; and

  • (3)  include:

    • (A)  instruction in a five-step strategy for helping an individual experiencing a mental health crisis, including assessing risk, listening respectfully to and supporting the individual, and identifying professional help and other supports for the individual;

    • (B)  an introduction to the risk factors and warning signs for mental illness and substance abuse problems;

    • (C)  experiential activities to increase participants' understanding of the impact of mental illness on individuals and families; and

    • (D)  a presentation of evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.
      (e)  A local mental health authority may contract with a regional education service center to provide a mental health first aid training program to university employees, school district employees, and school resource officers under this section.

(f)  Two or more local mental health authorities may collaborate and share resources to develop and operate a mental health first aid training program under this section.


Texas Statutes Occupations Code 1701.262 Training for School District Pease Officers and School Resource Officers

(a) In this section:

  • (1) “Center” means the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University.

  • (2) “Institute” means an institute dedicated to providing training to law enforcement and the development of law enforcement policies, such as the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas at Sam Houston State University or the Caruth Police Institute.

  • (3) “School district peace officer” means a peace officer commissioned under Section 37.081, Education Code.

  • (4) “School resource officer” has the meaning assigned by Section 1701.601.

(b) The commission, in consultation with an institute or the center, shall create, adopt, and distribute a model training curriculum for school district peace officers and school resource officers.

(c) The curriculum developed under this section must incorporate learning objectives regarding:

  • (1) child and adolescent development and psychology;

  • (2) positive behavioral interventions and supports, conflict resolution techniques, and restorative justice techniques;

  • (3) de-escalation techniques and techniques for limiting the use of force, including the use of physical, mechanical, and chemical restraints;

  • (4) the mental and behavioral health needs of children with disabilities or special needs; and

  • (5) mental health crisis intervention.

(d) Before adopting and distributing any curriculum under this section, the commission shall provide a 30-day period for public comment.

(e) The commission shall provide the curriculum developed under this section and any supplemental education materials created for the curriculum to:

  • (1) school district police departments;

  • (2) law enforcement agencies that place peace officers in a school as school resource officers under a memorandum of understanding; and

  • (3) any entity that provides training to school district peace officers or school resource officers.

(f) The commission shall review curriculum developed and adopted under this section and update subject matter contained in the curriculum as needed at least once every four years.


Texas Statutes Occupations Code 1701.263 Education and Training Program for School District Peace Officers and School Resource Officers

(a) In this section:

  • (1) “School district peace officer” has the meaning assigned by Section 1701.262.

  • (2) “School resource officer” has the meaning assigned by Section 1701.601.

(b) The commission by rule shall require a school district peace officer or a school resource officer who is commissioned by or who provides law enforcement at a school district with an enrollment of 30,000 or more students to successfully complete an education and training program described by this section before or within 120 days of the officer’s commission by or placement in the district or a campus of the district. The program must:

  • (1) consist of at least 16 hours of training;

  • (2) be approved by the commission; and

  • (3) provide training in accordance with the curriculum developed under Section 1701.262 in each subject area listed in Subsection (c) of that section.

(b-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (b) or a rule adopted under that section, a school district peace officer or school resource officer is not required to successfully complete the education and training program required by this section if the officer has successfully completed the advanced training course conducted by the National Association of School Resource Officers or a training course equivalent to that advanced training course, as determined by the commission.

(c) The education and training program required under this section may not require a peace officer to pass an examination, except that the commission shall administer an examination to qualify officers to provide the education and training to other officers. The examination to qualify officers to provide the education and training must test the officer’s knowledge and recognition of the subject areas listed in Section <a href+"http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/GetStatute.aspx?Code=OC&Value=1701.262">1701.262(c).

(d) The commission shall issue a professional achievement or proficiency certificate to a peace officer who completes the education and training program under this section.

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