State law requires districts to use alternatives to out-of-school suspension or expulsion, such as in-school suspension, behavioral interventions, or restorative practices.
Texas Statutes Education Code 37.0013 Positive Behavior Program
(a) Each school district and open-enrollment charter school may develop and implement a program, in consultation with campus behavior coordinators employed by the district or school and representatives of a regional education service center, that provides a disciplinary alternative for a student enrolled in a grade level below grade three who engages in conduct described by Section 37.005(a) and is not subject to Section 37.005(c). The program must:
(1) be age-appropriate and research-based;
(2) provide models for positive behavior;
(3) promote a positive school environment;
(4) provide alternative disciplinary courses of action that do not rely on the use of in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, or placement in a disciplinary alternative education program to manage student behavior; and
(5) provide behavior management strategies, including:
(A) positive behavioral intervention and support;
(B) trauma-informed practices;
(C) social and emotional learning;
(D) a referral for services, as necessary; and
(E) restorative practices.
(b) Each school district and open-enrollment charter school may annually conduct training for staff employed by the district or school on the program adopted under Subsection (a).
Texas Statutes Education Code 37.002. Removal by Teacher.
(a) A teacher may send a student to the campus behavior coordinator’s office to maintain effective discipline in the classroom. The campus behavior coordinator shall respond by employing appropriate discipline management techniques consistent with the student code of conduct adopted under Section 37.001 that can reasonably be expected to improve the student’s behavior before returning the student to the classroom. If the student’s behavior does not improve, the campus behavior coordinator shall employ alternative discipline management techniques, including any progressive interventions designated as the responsibility of the campus behavior coordinator in the student code of conduct. (b) A teacher may remove from class a student: (1) who has been documented by the teacher to repeatedly interfere with the teacher’s ability to communicate effectively with the students in the class or with the ability of the student’s classmates to learn; or (2) whose behavior the teacher determines is so unruly, disruptive, or abusive that it seriously interferes with the teacher’s ability to communicate effectively with the students in the class or with the ability of the student’s classmates to learn. (b-1) A teacher may document any conduct by a student that does not conform to the student code of conduct adopted under Section 37.001 and may submit that documentation to the principal. A school district may not discipline a teacher on the basis of documentation submitted under this subsection. (c) If a teacher removes a student from class under Subsection (b), the principal may place the student into another appropriate classroom, into in-school suspension, or into a disciplinary alternative education program as provided by Section 37.008. The principal may not return the student to that teacher’s class without the teacher’s consent unless the committee established under Section 37.003 determines that such placement is the best or only alternative available. The terms of the removal may prohibit the student from attending or participating in school-sponsored or school-related activity. (d) A teacher shall remove from class and send to the principal for placement in a disciplinary alternative education program or for expulsion, as appropriate, a student who engages in conduct described under Section 37.006 or 37.007. The student may not be returned to that teacher’s class without the teacher’s consent unless the committee established under Section 37.003 determines that such placement is the best or only alternative available. If the teacher removed the student from class because the student has engaged in the elements of any offense listed in Section 37.006(a)(2)(B) or Section 37.007(a)(2)(A) or (b)(2)(C) against the teacher, the student may not be returned to the teacher’s class without the teacher’s consent. The teacher may not be coerced to consent. (e) A student who is sent to the campus behavior coordinator’s or other administrator’s office under Subsection (a) or removed from class under Subsection (b) is not considered to have been removed from the classroom for the purposes of reporting data through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) or other similar reports required by state or federal law.
Texas Statutes Education Code 37.141. Definitions.
In this subchapter: (1) “Child” means a person who is: (A) a student; and (B) at least 10 years of age and younger than 18 years of age. (2) “School offense” means an offense committed by a child enrolled in a public school that is a Class C misdemeanor other than a traffic offense and that is committed on property under the control and jurisdiction of a school district.
Texas Statutes Education Code 37.144. Graduated Sanctions for Certain School Offenses.
(a) A school district that commissions peace officers under Section 37.081 may develop a system of graduated sanctions that the school district may require to be imposed on a child before a complaint is filed under Section 37.145 against the child for a school offense that is an offense under Section 37.124 or 37.126 or under Section 42.01(a)(1), (2), (3), (4), or (5), Penal Code. A system adopted under this section must include multiple graduated sanctions. The system may require: (1) a warning letter to be issued to the child and the child’s parent or guardian that specifically states the child’s alleged school offense and explains the consequences if the child engages in additional misconduct; (2) a behavior contract with the child that must be signed by the child, the child’s parent or guardian, and an employee of the school and that includes a specific description of the behavior that is required or prohibited for the child and the penalties for additional alleged school offenses, including additional disciplinary action or the filing of a complaint in a criminal court; (3) the performance of school-based community service by the child; and (4) the referral of the child to counseling, community-based services, or other in-school or out-of-school services aimed at addressing the child’s behavioral problems. (b) A referral made under Subsection (a)(4) may include participation by the child’s parent or guardian if necessary.