This section answers questions pertaining to issues regarding teachers and the public school system. Can a school district hire a permanent substitute instead of a certified teacher who applied for the same position? The rules governing certification requirements can be found in the 19 TAC Chapters through of the Texas Administrative Code, and the rule governing assignment of public school personnel is 19 TAC A school district may employ a teacher under an emergency permit if they have been unable to secure a certified and qualified person for the position. To activate a permit, the district must follow the procedures set forth in 19 TAC Section
The increase follows a state law that took effect at the beginning of last school year that expanded reporting requirements and made superintendents and principals who failed to report such conduct subject to criminal charges. During fiscalthe TEA opened cases into inappropriate student-educator relationships - an approximate 42 percent increase from the prior year, said Doug Phillips, director of educator investigations at TEA, during a Senate Education Committee meeting this week.
Lawmakers also credited the increase to the MeToo movement and "what's going on in America today. And we're now finding the extent of the problem. The new law was propelled by the issue of some teachers with a history of improper relationships with students resigning in order to avoid potential legal battles, rather than being fired by school districts.
In some cases, those teachers were rehired by other districts, a cycle that educators and lawmakers often refer to as "passing the trash. Under the law, teachers can be charged with an improper relationship with a student regardless of whether or not the student is in their district. The law also expanded reporting requirements to include principals and superintendents.
Previously, superintendents could be sanctioned by the State Board of Educator Certification if they didn't report teacher misconduct, but such failures weren't considered a crime.
Phillips told legislators Tuesday that the state is in the process of handing down its first penalty for an administrator who failed to report suspected teacher misconduct. The agency has hired two additional investigators, bringing the total to nine, to look into such cases. In North Texas, police in April arrested a Dallas ISD high school teacher who was accused of having an improper relationship with a student in another district. And in June, a former counselor at a Bedford junior high school was arrested after police said she had been in a sexual relationship with a ninth-grade student.
That's probably why the state has seen a rise in the number of cases, he said. Bettencourt plans to file legislation during next year's session to further address the issue of improper teacher-student relationships and potentially close loopholes.
That could include a "do not hire" registry encompassing all teachers - not just certified ones - who had inappropriate relationships with students. The list would be available to private schools so they can have a more complete picture of an applicant's past.
Melanie Martinez - K-12 (The Film)
You see what's happening. And then you come back and tune it up," Bettencourt said.
Laura Colangelo, executive director of the Texas Private Schools Association, told lawmakers Tuesday that private school administrators need better access to investigations into teacher conduct. Unless prior issues show up on criminal background checks, she said, private schools typically aren't aware of them. Bettencourt also has proposed expanding reporting requirements to all school employees, including custodial and cafeteria staff.
Nanette Light. A sells, gives, or delivers to another person or possesses, uses, or is under the influence of any amount of:.
B engages in conduct that contains the elements of an offense relating to an abusable volatile chemical under Sections C engages in conduct that contains the elements of an offense under Section D engages in conduct that contains the elements of the offense of deadly conduct under Section B possesses a firearm, as defined by 18 U. Section. A the conduct involves accessing a computer, computer network, or computer system owned by or operated on behalf of a school district; and.
For purposes of this subsection, "serious misbehavior" means:. A public lewdness under Section B indecent exposure under Section C criminal mischief under Section D personal hazing under Section E harassment under Section Sectiona local educational agency, including a school district, home-rule school district, or open-enrollment charter school, shall expel a student who brings a firearm, as defined by 18 U.
Sectionto school. The student must be expelled from the student's regular campus for a period of at least one year, except that:.
Sectionmay modify the length of the expulsion in the case of an individual student. The student shall be referred to the authorized officer of the juvenile court regardless of whether the student is expelled.
June 18, ; Acts78th Leg. Acts80th Leg. The district in which the student enrolls shall inform each educator who will have responsibility for, or will be under the direction and supervision of an educator who will have responsibility for, the instruction of the student of the contents of the placement order. The district in which the student enrolls may continue the disciplinary alternative education program placement under the terms of the order or may allow the student to attend regular classes without completing the period of placement.
A district may take any action permitted by this subsection if:. A the out-of-state district provides to the district a copy of the placement order; and. B the grounds for the placement by the out-of-state district are grounds for placement in the district in which the student is enrolling. A disciplinary alternative education program that provides chemical dependency treatment services must be licensed under ChapterHealth and Safety Code.
A school district shall offer a student removed to a disciplinary alternative education program an opportunity to complete coursework before the beginning of the next school year. The school district may provide the student an opportunity to complete coursework through any method available, including a correspondence course, distance learning, or summer school.
The district may not charge the student for a course provided under this subsection.
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The notice must:. The evaluation required by this section shall be based on indicators defined by the commissioner, but must include student performance on assessment instruments required under Sections Academically, the mission of disciplinary alternative education programs shall be to enable students to perform at grade level.
Annually the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, with the agreement of the commissioner, shall develop and implement a system of accountability consistent with Chapters 39 and 39A, where appropriate, to assure that students make progress toward grade level while attending a juvenile justice alternative education program. The department shall. The age of consent in Texas is 18, but there's a law forbidding teachers from having sexual relationships with students regardless of their age. The grand jury refused to find her guilty of an improper relationship with a student since the text messages colored their relationship as endearing and flirtatious, but she did lose her teacher. May 01, Is it legal for a teacher to date one of their students if the student is at least 18 years old? Is it legal? It depends on the jurisdiction. In some cases, it may be. Is it allowed by the school district? Probably not. Is it ethical? Not in the l.
The commissioner shall also develop a system and standards for review of the evaluation or use systems already available at the agency.
The system must be designed to identify districts that are at high risk of having inaccurate disciplinary alternative education program data or of failing to comply with disciplinary alternative education program requirements. The commissioner shall notify the board of trustees of a district of any objection the commissioner has to the district's disciplinary alternative education program data or of a violation of a law or rule revealed by the data, including any violation of disciplinary alternative education program requirements, or of any recommendation by the commissioner concerning the data.
If the data reflect that a penal law has been violated, the commissioner shall notify the county attorney, district attorney, or criminal district attorney, as appropriate, and the attorney general. The commissioner is entitled to access to all district records the commissioner considers necessary or appropriate for the review, analysis, or approval of disciplinary alternative education program data.
A has received deferred prosecution under Section B has been found by a court or jury to have engaged in delinquent conduct under Section D has been referred to a juvenile court for allegedly engaging in delinquent conduct under Section E has received probation or deferred adjudication for a felony offense under Title 5, Penal Code, or the felony offense of aggravated robbery under Section F has been convicted of a felony offense under Title 5, Penal Code, or the felony offense of aggravated robbery under Section G has been arrested for or charged with a felony offense under Title 5, Penal Code, or the felony offense of aggravated robbery under Section C is not in the best interests of the district's students.
For purposes of this subsection:. The instrument shall be administered:. A comparable to any assessment instrument generally administered to students placed in juvenile justice alternative education programs for a similar purpose; or. B based on an appropriate alternative assessment instrument developed by the agency to measure student academic growth; and.
At the conference, the student is entitled to written or oral notice of the reasons for the removal, an explanation of the basis for the removal, and an opportunity to respond to the reasons for the removal. The student may not be returned to the regular classroom pending the conference. Following the conference, and whether or not each requested person is in attendance after valid attempts to require the person's attendance, the campus behavior coordinator, after consideration of the factors under Section Before ordering the suspension, expulsion, removal to a disciplinary alternative education program, or placement in a juvenile justice alternative education program of a student, the behavior coordinator must consider whether the student acted in self-defense, the intent or lack of intent at the time the student engaged in the conduct, the student's disciplinary history, and whether the student has a disability that substantially impairs the student's capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of the student's conduct, regardless of whether the decision of the behavior coordinator concerns a mandatory or discretionary action.
If school district policy allows a student to appeal to the board of trustees or the board's designee a decision of the campus behavior coordinator or other appropriate administrator, other than an expulsion under Section If the period of the placement is inconsistent with the guidelines included in the student code of conduct under Section The period of the placement may not exceed one year unless, after a review, the district determines that the student is a threat to the safety of other students or to district employees.
Any decision of the board or the board's designee under this subsection is final and may not be appealed. The period of the placement may not exceed one year unless, after a review, the district determines that:.
In the case of a high school student, the board's designee, with the student's parent or guardian, shall review the student's progress towards meeting high school graduation requirements and shall establish a specific graduation plan for the student. The district is not required under this subsection to provide a course in the district's disciplinary alternative education program except as required by Section At the review, the student or the student's parent or guardian must be given the opportunity to present arguments for the student's return to the regular classroom or campus.
The student may not be returned to the classroom of the teacher who removed the student without that teacher's consent. At the hearing, the student is entitled to be represented by the student's parent or guardian or another adult who can provide guidance to the student and who is not an employee of the school district.
If the school district makes a good-faith effort to inform the student and the student's parent or guardian of the time and place of the hearing, the district may hold the hearing regardless of whether the student, the student's parent or guardian, or another adult representing the student attends.
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Before ordering the expulsion of a student, the board of trustees must consider whether the student acted in self-defense, the intent or lack of intent at the time the student engaged in the conduct, the student's disciplinary history, and whether the student has a disability that substantially impairs the student's capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of the student's conduct, regardless of whether the decision of the board concerns a mandatory or discretionary action. If the decision to expel a student is made by the board's designee, the decision may be appealed to the board.
The decision of the board may be appealed by trial de novo to a district court of the county in which the school district's central administrative office is located. The period of an expulsion may not exceed one year unless, after a review, the district determines that:. After a school district notifies the parents or guardians of a student that the student has been expelled, the parent or guardian shall provide adequate supervision of the student during the period of expulsion.
If the student subsequently enrolls in the district during the same or subsequent school year, the district may enforce the order at that time except for any period of the placement or expulsion that has been served by the student on enrollment in another district that honored the order.
If the principal or board fails to enter an order after the student withdraws, the next district in which the student enrolls may complete the proceedings and enter an order.
In a county that operates a program under Section After the student has successfully completed any court disposition requirements the court imposes, including conditions of a deferred prosecution ordered by the court, or such conditions required by the prosecutor or probation department, if the student meets the requirements for admission into the public schools established by this title, a district may not refuse to admit the student, but the district may place the student in the disciplinary alternative education program.
Notwithstanding Section The district in which the student enrolls may continue the expulsion under the terms of the order, may place the student in a disciplinary alternative education program for the period specified by the expulsion order, or may allow the student to attend regular classes without completing the period of expulsion. A district may take any action permitted by this subsection if the student was expelled by a school district in another state if:.
The juvenile board of a county with a population ofor less may develop a juvenile justice alternative education program. For the purposes of this subchapter, only a disciplinary alternative education program operated under the authority of a juvenile board of a county is considered a juvenile justice alternative education program.
A juvenile justice alternative education program in a county with a population ofor less:. A outlines the responsibilities of the board and school districts in minimizing the number of students expelled without receiving alternative educational services; and.
B includes the coordination procedures required by Section The district is entitled to count the student in the district's average daily attendance for purposes of receipt of state funds under the Foundation School Program. An educational placement under this section may include:.
E a community organization that can provide an educational program that allows the student to complete the credits required for high school graduation. Each school district shall consider course credit earned by a student while in a juvenile justice alternative education program as credit earned in a district school. Each program shall administer assessment instruments under Subchapter B, Chapter 39and shall offer a high school equivalency program.
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The juvenile board or the board's designee, with the parent or guardian of each student, shall regularly review the student's academic progress. In the case of a high school student, the board or the board's designee, with the student's parent or guardian, shall review the student's progress towards meeting high school graduation requirements and shall establish a specific graduation plan for the student.
The program is not required to provide a course necessary to fulfill a student's high school graduation requirements other than a course specified by this subsection. A school district may provide personnel and services for a juvenile justice alternative education program under a contract with the juvenile board.
The department may not grant a waiver to a program under this subsection for a number of days that exceeds the highest number of instructional days waived by the commissioner during the same school year for a school district served by the program.
A juvenile justice alternative education program is not subject to a requirement imposed by this title, other than a reporting requirement or a requirement imposed by this chapter or by Chapter 39 or 39A. For purposes of accountability under Chapters 39 and 39Aa student enrolled in a juvenile justice alternative education program is reported as if the student were enrolled at the student's assigned campus in the student's regularly assigned education program, including a special education program.
Annually the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, with the agreement of the commissioner, shall develop and implement a system of accountability consistent with Chapters 39 and 39Awhere appropriate, to assure that students make progress toward grade level while attending a juvenile justice alternative education program.
The department shall adopt rules for the distribution of funds appropriated under this section to juvenile boards in counties required to establish juvenile justice alternative education programs.
Except as determined by the commissioner, a student served by a juvenile justice alternative education program on the basis of an expulsion required under Section The juvenile court may not order a period of transfer under this section that exceeds the term of any probation ordered by the juvenile court. The school district may provide the program or the school district may contract with a county juvenile board, a private provider, or one or more other school districts to provide the program.
The memorandum of understanding shall address the circumstances under which such students who continue to engage in serious misbehavior, as defined by Section Each party must submit its final proposal to the arbitrator. If the parties cannot agree on an arbitrator, the juvenile board shall select an arbitrator, the school districts shall select an arbitrator, and those two arbitrators shall select an arbitrator who will decide the issues in dispute.
An arbitration decision issued under this subsection is enforceable in a court in the county in which the juvenile justice alternative education program is located. Any decision by an arbitrator concerning the amount of the funding for a student who is expelled and attending a juvenile justice alternative education program must provide an amount sufficient based on operation of the juvenile justice alternative education program in accordance with this chapter.
May 08, The House on Monday approved Senate Bill 7, which would require principals and superintendents to report teachers having inappropriate relationships with students . Teachers have a wide range of responsibilities to students that come from a variety of federal, state, and local laws and regulations. If they don't meet these standards, parents might be able to file complaints and force changes-or even to sue the school in some circumstances. 1. Can a school district hire a permanent substitute instead of a certified teacher who applied for the same position? Pursuant to Section of the Texas Education Code, school districts must follow the state certification rules when hiring teachers and other professional personnel. The rules governing certification requirements can be found in the 19 TAC Chapters through of the.
In determining the amount to be paid by a school district for an expelled student enrolled in a juvenile justice alternative education program, the arbitrator shall consider the relevant factors, including evidence of:. The juvenile board shall make any contribution that otherwise would be the responsibility of the school district if the person were employed by the school district, and the state shall make any contribution to the same extent as if the person were employed by a school district.
June 19, ; Acts75th Leg. June 20, ; Acts76th Leg. September 28, The board of trustees of the school district or the board's designee shall at the call of the president of the board of trustees regularly meet with the juvenile board for the county in which the district's central administrative office is located or the juvenile board's designee concerning supervision and rehabilitative services appropriate for expelled students and students assigned to disciplinary alternative education programs.
Matters for discussion shall include service by probation officers at the disciplinary alternative education program site, recruitment of volunteers to serve as mentors and provide tutoring services, and coordination with other social service agencies.
Each school district shall appoint at least one educator to act as liaison officer for court-related children who are enrolled in the district.
The liaison officer shall provide counselling and services for each court-related child and the child's parents to establish or reestablish normal attendance and progress of the child in the school. A person who voluntarily makes a report under this section is immune from civil or criminal liability. A teacher, school administrator, or school employee is not liable in civil damages for reporting to a school administrator or governmental authority, in the exercise of professional judgment within the scope of the teacher's, administrator's, or employee's duties, a student whom the teacher suspects of using, passing, or selling, on school property:.
Information received by a school district under Article The school district shall destroy the information at the end of the school year in which the report was filed. Each school district shall provide each teacher and administrator with a copy of this subchapter and with a copy of the local policy relating to this subchapter. The reason must be a reason for which placement in a disciplinary alternative education program or expulsion may be made on a nonemergency basis.
Within a reasonable time after the emergency placement or expulsion, but not later than the 10th day after the date of the placement or expulsion, the student shall be accorded the appropriate due process as required under Section If the student subject to the emergency placement or expulsion is a student with disabilities who receives special education services, the emergency placement or expulsion is subject to federal law and regulations and must be consistent with the consequences that would apply under this subchapter to a student without a disability.
June 13, ; Acts78th Leg.
A conduct violating the student code of conduct adopted under Section B conduct for which a student may be removed from class under Section C conduct for which placement in a disciplinary alternative education program is required by Section D conduct occurring while a student was enrolled in another district and for which placement in a disciplinary alternative education program is permitted by Section A conduct for which expulsion is required under Section B conduct for which expulsion is permitted under Section A the student was placed in a juvenile justice alternative education program under Section B the student was placed in a disciplinary alternative education program; or.
C the student was not placed in a juvenile justice or other disciplinary alternative education program; and. Added by Acts75th Leg. Renumbered from Education Code, Section A a disciplinary alternative education program operated by a school district or open-enrollment charter school. B a juvenile justice alternative education program; and.
C a residential program or facility operated by or under contract with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, a juvenile board, or any other governmental entity.
A the student's parent or a person standing in parental relation to the student; and.
Keri Ann Brekne. Keri Ann Brekne was a seventh grade teacher in the social studies department at Lopatcong Township Middle School located in Phillipsburg, New Jersey when she was arrested for sexual assault against a fourteen-year-old girl in both her home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as well as in the female child's home in New Jersey. Brekne has pled guilty to charges in both states, and. The new law was propelled by the issue of some teachers with a history of improper relationships with students resigning in order to avoid potential legal battles, rather than being fired by. Teachers are perceived as role models in the community, and the laws and regulations that mandate appropriate standards of conduct reflect that expectation. Failure to comply with these standards can lead to adverse employment action, certification sanctions and criminal consequences. Sexual relationships with students.
B the administrator of the campus to which the student intends to transition; and. A an assessment of the student's academic growth while attending the alternative education program; and. B the results of any assessment instruments administered to the student.
The coordination must include assistance and recommendations from:. A personalized transition plan:. A recommendations for counseling, behavioral management, or academic assistance for the student with a concentration on the student's academic or career goals.
B recommendations for assistance for obtaining access to mental health services provided by the district or school, a local mental health authority, or another private or public entity. C the provision of information to the student's parent or a person standing in parental relation to the student about the process to request a full individual and initial evaluation of the student for purposes of special education services under Section D a regular review of the student's progress toward the student's academic or career goals.
Each school district may establish a school-community guidance center designed to locate and assist children with problems that interfere with education, including juvenile offenders and children with severe behavioral problems or character disorders.
Each center shall coordinate the efforts of school district personnel, local police departments, school attendance officers, and probation officers in working with students, dropouts, and parents in identifying and correcting factors that adversely affect the education of the children.
The board of trustees of a school district may develop cooperative programs with state youth agencies for children found to have engaged in delinquent conduct. The agreement must include:. A parent who violates a court order issued under this subsection may be punished for contempt of court.
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The court may delegate responsibility under this section to a referee appointed under Section If a board of trustees authorizes a person employed as security personnel to carry a weapon, the person must be a commissioned peace officer. The jurisdiction of a peace officer, a school resource officer, or security personnel under this section shall be determined by the board of trustees and may include all territory in the boundaries of the school district and all property outside the boundaries of the district that is owned, leased, or rented by or otherwise under the control of the school district and the board of trustees that employ the peace officer or security personnel or that enter into a memorandum of understanding for the provision of a school resource officer.
A school district may contract with a political subdivision for the jurisdiction of a school district peace officer to include all territory in the jurisdiction of the political subdivision.
The duties must be included in:. A school district must authorize in writing any off-duty law enforcement activities performed by a school district peace officer. School district police officers shall be supervised by the chief of police of the school district or the chief of police's designee and shall be licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
The bond may be sued on in the name of any person injured until the whole amount of the bond is recovered. Any peace officer commissioned under this section must meet all minimum standards for peace officers established by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
May 18, June 2, The board of trustees or governing body may, but shall not be required to, reimburse the amount paid by the applicant to participate in the training program under that section.
The written regulations must also require that a handgun carried by or within access of a school marshal may be loaded only with frangible duty ammunition approved for that purpose by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
The notice may not disclose information that is confidential under Subsection g. January 1, June 6, The policy may establish disciplinary measures to be imposed for violation of the prohibition and may provide for confiscation of the paging device. The notice shall include the serial number of the device and may be made by telephone, telegraph, or in writing; and.
The term does not include an amateur radio under the control of an operator who holds an amateur radio station license issued by the Federal Communications Commission. The program must provide for prevention of and education concerning unwanted physical or verbal aggression and sexual harassment in school, on school grounds, and in school vehicles. A means a single significant act or a pattern of acts by one or more students directed at another student that exploits an imbalance of power and involves engaging in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that satisfies the applicability requirements provided by Subsection a-1and that:.
A interferes with a student's educational opportunities; or. B substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.
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A a parent or guardian of the alleged victim on or before the third business day after the date the incident is reported; and. B a parent or guardian of the alleged bully within a reasonable amount of time after the incident.
Section gas amended. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a warrant may not be issued for the arrest of a person for a Class C misdemeanor under this code committed when the person was younger than 17 years of age. The criminal laws of the state apply in the areas under the control and jurisdiction of the board of trustees of any school district in this state. The board may adopt and charge a reasonable fee for parking and for providing traffic control.
An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, the board of trustees of a school district may authorize any officer commissioned by the board to enforce rules adopted by the board.
This subchapter is not intended to restrict the authority of each district to adopt and enforce appropriate rules for the orderly conduct of the district in carrying out its purposes and objectives or the right of separate jurisdiction relating to the conduct of its students and personnel.
The judge of a municipal court of a municipality in which, or any justice of the peace of a county in which, property under the control and jurisdiction of a school district is located may hear and determine criminal cases involving violations of this subchapter or rules adopted under this subchapter. A the administrator, resource officer, or peace officer issues a verbal warning to the person that the person's behavior is inappropriate and may result in the person's refusal of entry or ejection; and.
Sectionin accordance with federal law. The board of trustees of a school district may provide for the issuance and use of suitable vehicle identification insignia. The board may bar or suspend a person from driving or parking a vehicle on any school property as a result of the person's violation of any rule adopted by the board or of this subchapter.
Reinstatement of the privileges may be permitted and a reasonable fee assessed. An unauthorized person who trespasses on the grounds of any school district of this state commits an offense.
The plan must address prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery as defined by the Texas School Safety Center in conjunction with the governor's office of homeland security and the commissioner of education or commissioner of higher education, as applicable. The plan must provide for:. To the extent possible, a district shall follow safety and security audit procedures developed by the Texas School Safety Center or a person included in the registry established by the Texas School Safety Center under Section The report provided to the Texas School Safety Center under this subsection must be signed by:.
A school district is only required to adopt the policy described by this subsection if a district school is located within 1, yards of a railroad track, as measured from any point on the school's real property boundary line. The school district may use any available community resources in developing the policy described by this subsection. In developing the policy under this subsection, the board of trustees may consult with the local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the school district property selected as a polling place regarding reasonable security accommodations that may be made to the property.
This subsection may not be interpreted to require the board of trustees to obtain or contract for the presence of law enforcement or security personnel for the purpose of securing a polling place located on school district property. Failure to comply with this subsection does not affect the requirement of the board of trustees to make a school facility available for use as a polling place under Section A are aligned with best practice-based programs and research-based practices recommended under Section B include strategies for ensuring any required professional development training for suicide prevention and grief-informed and trauma-informed care is provided to appropriate school personnel.
C include training on integrating psychological safety and suicide prevention strategies into the district's plan, such as psychological first aid for schools training, from an approved list of recommended training established by the commissioner and Texas School Safety Center for:. D include strategies and procedures for integrating and supporting physical and psychological safety that align with the provisions described by Subdivision 2 ; and.
A submit or correct deficiencies in a multihazard emergency operations plan; or. B report the results of a safety and security audit to the Texas School Safety Center as required by law.