Legislative Guidance: School Safety Committees
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Legislative Guidance: School Safety Committees

As part of our 86th Texas Legislature Update
Series this video addresses School Safety and Security Committees. Senate Bill 11 requires open-enrollment charter
schools to establish a school safety and security committee as previously required of school
districts. Texas Education Code 37.109 requires that
the Safety and Security Committee participates in the development and implementation of multi-hazard
emergency operation plans. Creating a multi-disciplinary safety and security
committee can ensure that the varied perspectives and safety needs, from throughout the school
and district, are incorporated into emergency planning, drilling and exercising. The safety and security committee is required
to assist the school and district in the implementation and reporting of the required safety and security
audit. The committee is required to review the district
audit report or any other report required to be submitted to the Texas School Safety
Center. Senate Bill 11 specifically identifies the
membership of the safety and security committee, to the extent practicable. In an effort to ensure collaboration, coordination
and communication between school administrators, board members, local emergency response agencies,
jurisdictions, and parents, safety and security committees are now required to include representation
from specific stakeholders. In addition to the school safety and security
committee membership changes of Senate Bill 11, the duties of the committee now include
providing recommendations to the board of trustees and administrators for updating the
district or school emergency operations plans. These recommendations are to be in accordance
with best practices identified by the Texas Education Agency, the Texas School Safety
Center or a person included in the School Safety and Security Consultant Services Registry
of Texas. Senate Bill 11 modified TEC 37.2091 which
now requires the Center to verify information provided by persons in the Registry to confirm
their qualifications and ability to provide school safety and security consulting services
before being added to the Registry. The district or school safety and security
committee is now required by Senate Bill 11 to consult with local law enforcement agencies
on methods to increase law enforcement presence near district campuses. Schools and districts across the state have
varied access to law enforcement to serve in or around their schools. Meeting with local law enforcement will assist
to identify the needs of the school or district and work toward meeting the needs through
various law enforcement agencies in the area. Documentation of any meetings and actions
taken toward these efforts should be retained. The safety and security committee must meet
at least once per academic semester and once during the summer. If the school or district operates on a year-round
system or alternative schedule, their committee must meet at least three times during each
calendar year with at least two month between each meeting. Safety and security committee meetings are
subject to Chapter 551 of the Government Code. Open Meetings. These requirements are the same as school
district board of trustee meeting requirements. Provisions allow for discussion in an executive
or closed session to discuss sensitive security information for schools in order to prevent
the release of information that could compromise school safety and security. Check with your legal counsel to verify that
you are in compliance with Chapter 551 of the Texas Government Code. For Additional information and resources please
visit the Texas School Safety Center website.

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