The 2023 Legislative session responded to concerns over school safety in a number of ways, most prominently in the passage of HB 3. It’s a lengthy bill covering training requirements, building standards, the role of our ESCs, and other components of maintaining safety. For today’s Daily Dawg we’re going to focus on the provision that is generating the most questions.
The board of trustees of each school district shall determine the appropriate number of armed security officers for each district campus. THE BOARD MUST ENSURE THAT AT LEAST ONE ARMED SECURITY OFFICER IS PRESENT DURING REGULAR SCHOOL HOURS AT EACH DISTRICT CAMPUS.
This is now subsection (a) of Texas Education Code 37.0814.
Subsection (b) tells us that a “security officer” can be a “school district peace officer,” an SRO, or a “commissioned peace officer employed as a security officer.”
Subsection (c) allows boards to claim a “good cause exemption” from this requirement if there is a lack of funding or personnel. It’s likely that many districts will want to explore this.
Subsection (d) only applies to those districts that claim that exemption. They must develop an alternative standard that might include the use of a school marshal, a school employee, or a person the district contracts with, provided they have had proper school safety training and are carrying a handgun in accordance with the provisions of the Penal Code and regulations of the district.
Subsection (e) requires the board to maintain documentation reflecting its compliance with the law, and to make that documentation available to T.E.A. upon request.
Lots for the board members to chew on with this bill. The lawyers at Walsh Gallegos have been fielding a lot of questions about the implementation of this bill. Let us know if we can help you.
DAWG BONE: ARMED SECURITY ON EVERY CAMPUS. LET’S HOPE THAT HELPS.
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Tomorrow: Toolbox Tuesday!!