Senate Bill 11 Summary

Effective immediately

School Safety


  • TEA must adopt building standards for new construction, renovation, or retrofitting

  • Requires District Improvement Plan to include a trauma-informed care policy that must address:

    • Increasing staff and parent awareness of trauma-informed care (using resources developed by TEA)

    • Implementation of trauma-informed practices

    • Available counseling options for students affected by trauma or grief

    • Training for increasing awareness and implementation of trauma-informed care must be provided through a program on the list of recommended best practice-based and research-based practices as a part of any new employee orientation for all new and existing employees, and the district must keep records of who completed the training and when

    • Requires the district to report to TEA the total number of teachers, principals, and counselors employed by the district that have and have not completed training

    • The district may partner with a community mental health organization to provide training

  • Requires TEA to provide a waiver to operation and instructional time requirements for a school district that requires educators to attend an approved school safety training course

    • Training course must apply to the Texas School Safety Center for approval

  • Requires parental notification of a bomb or terroristic threat as soon as possible

  • Requires TEA to adopt rules for evacuations and mandatory drills

  • Allows a district to issue bonds for the retrofitting of school buses with emergency, safety or security equipment and the purchase of retrofitting of vehicles to be used for emergency, safety, or security purposes

  • Requires an SRO to complete education training program within 180 days (up from 120) of the officer’s placement on a campus

EOP Requirements

  • Address prevention 

  • Include training for district employees and substitutes

  • Employees and substitutes must have access to a telephone (could be cell phone) or another electronic communication device for contact with emergency services

  • Requires measures to ensure district communications technology and infrastructure are adequate to allow for communication during an emergency

  • Must identify a chain of command that designates the individual responsible for making final decisions during a disaster or emergency situation and identifies other individuals responsible for making those decisions if the designated person is unavailable

  • Must include provisions that address physical and psychological safety for responding to a natural disaster, active shooter, and any other dangerous scenario (defined by TSSC by January 1, 2020)

  • Must include provisions for ensuring the safety of students in portable buildings

  • Must include provisions for ensuring that students personnel with disabilities are provided equal access to safety during a disaster or emergency situation

  • Must include provisions for providing immediate notification to parents, guardians, and other persons standing in parental relation in circumstances involving a significant threat to the health or safety of students, including identification of the individual with responsibility for overseeing the notification

  • Provisions for supporting the psychological safety of students, district personnel, and the community during the response and recovery phase following a disaster or emergency situation that:

    • Are aligned with best practice-based programs and research-based practices under Section 161.325 Health and Safety Code

    • 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

    • 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 
      members of the district school safety and security committee
      district school counselors and mental health professionals 
      educators and other district personnel as determined by the district

    • Implement trauma-informed policies

  • Must include a policy for providing a substitute teacher access to school campus buildings and materials necessary for the substitute teacher to carry out the duties of a district employee during an emergency or a mandatory emergency drill

  • Must include the name of each individual on the district's school safety and security committee established under Section 37.109 and the date of each committee meeting during the preceding year

  • EOPs will be randomly/need-based reviewed by TSSC; if the district hasn’t submitted a plan, TSSC will send written notification and the district will have three months to submit or the TSSC will notify the TEA for non-compliance; if the district hasn’t submitted a plan within six months of the notification of TEA, the school district must hold a public hearing, and a conservator will be appointed

Public Hearing Requirements

  • Requires a public hearing if a school district is found to be noncompliant with requirements on EOPs to notify the public of:

    • The district’s failure to submit or correct deficiencies in an EOP or

    • The district’s failure to report the results of a safety and security audit to the Texas School Safety Center as required by law

    • The dates during which the district has not been in compliance

    • The names of each member of the board of trustees and the superintendent serving in that capacity during the dates the district was not in compliance

  • Requires the district provide the above information in writing to each person in attendance at the hearing

  • Board is required to give opportunity for public input at the hearing

  • Requires the district to provide written communication confirming to the TSSC that the district held a hearing

  • Requires a district to follow safety and security audit procedures developed by the Texas School Safety Center or a person included in the registry established by the TSSC

    • The district’s audit must certify that the district used the funds provided to the district through the school safety allotment for these purposes

    • Audit report must be signed by trustees and superintendent

  • If a district fails to submit a plan, the commissioner may appoint a conservator for the district to adopt, implement and submit an EOP

Threat Assessment & Safe and Supportive School Team

Based on TEA guidance

  • Requires school districts to establish a threat assessment and safe and supportive school team established by the board of trustees for each campus and adopt policies and procedures pursuant to TEA's safe and supportive school program

  • Requires each team to complete training provided by TSSC

  • Requires each team to report information regarding team’s activities to TEA

  • Superintendent must ensure that appointments to each team must include members have expertise in counseling, behavior management, mental health and substance abuse, classroom instruction, special education, school administration, school safety and security, emergency management, and law enforcement. 

  • Superintendent can create or assign an existing committee to oversee the operations of teams which includes members with expertise in human resources, education, special education, counseling, behavior management, school administration, mental health and substance use, school safety and security, emergency management, and law enforcement

  • Teams must 

    • Conduct threat assessments that include assessing and reporting threats of violence or individuals who exhibit harmful, threatening, or violent behavior

    • Gather and analyze data to determine the level of risk and appropriate intervention including referring a student for mental health assessment and implementing an escalation procedure

    • Provide guidance to students and school employees on recognizing harmful, threatening, or violent behavior that may pose a threat to the community, school, or individual

    • Support the district in implementing the districts MHEOP

    • A team may not provide mental health services to a student under age 18 without written consent from a parent or guardian on a form that complies with state and federal law

    • If the team determines that a student poses a serious risk of violence to self or others, they must immediately report the team’s determination to the superintendent, and the superintendent must immediately inform the parent or guardian of the student

    • If the team identifies a student at risk of suicide, the team follows the district’s suicide prevention program

    • If the team identifies a student using or possessing tobacco, drugs, or alcohol, the team will follow the districts procedures related to substance abuse

    • A team must report to the TEA the following information: 

      • Occupation of each person appointed to the team

      • Number of the threats and description of the types of threats reported

      • The outcome of each assessment made by the team including disciplinary action, any action by law enforcement or a referral to or change in counseling

      • The total number, disaggregated by student gender, race, and SPED status, at risk, foster care, homeless, dependant of military personnel, pregnant/parent, limited English proficiency, migratory child in connection with an assessment or reported by the team: 

        • Citations for class C misdemeanor offenses

        • Arrests

        • Incidents of uses of restraint

        • Changes in school placement 

        • Referrals or changes in counseling or mental health, SPED or other services

        • Placements in ISS or OSS or expulsion

        • Unexcused absences of 15 or more

        • Referrals for truancy

      • The number and percentage of school personnel trained in: 

        • Best practices/research based practice in suicide prevention, grief trauma-informed practices

        • Mental health of psychological first aid for schools

        • Training related to safe and supportive school program

        • Any other program relating to safety identified by the commissioner

  • TSSC and TEA will develop model policies and procedures to assist school districts in establishing and training threat assessment teams, including the referral of a student to the mental health authority or health care provider for evaluation or treatment, the referral for an initial evaluation for SPED services, and a student or school personnel to anonymously report dangerous, violent, or unlawful activity that occurs or is threatened on school property or to a student or school personnel

School Safety & Security Committee 

  • Effective 9/1/2019, membership must include: 

    • 1+ representatives of an office of emergency management of the city or county

    • 1+ representatives from the local police or sheriff's office

    • president of the board of trustees

    • member of the board of trustees other than the president

    • the superintendent

    • 1+ designees of the superintendent, one of whom must be a classroom teacher in the district

    • 2 parents/guardians of enrolled students

  • Regularly review and make recommendations for updating the EOP

  • Consult with local law enforcement agencies to increase enforcement presence near campuses

  • Meet at least once during a semester and once during summer

  • Notice of meetings must be posted

  • Subject to chapter 551 Government Code; executive session can meet as provided 

School Safety Allotment

  • Allotment funds must be used for

    • Securing school facilities, including improvements or installation to barriers

    • Purchase or maintenance of security cameras or other security equipment

    • Technology, including communications systems or devices that facilitate the sharing of information in an emergency

    • Providing security for the district, including employing SROs

    • School safety and security training and planning including

      • Active shooter and emergency response training

      • Prevention and treatment programs relating to addressing adverse childhood experiences

      • The prevention, identification, and management of emergencies and threats, including providing mental health personnel and support, behavioural health services and establishing threat reporting systems

    • Providing programs related to suicide prevention

    • For equipment or  software that is used for a school safety and security purpose and an instructional purpose, provided that the instructional use does not compromise the safety and security purpose of the equipment or software

Mental Health

Local Health Advisory Council

Effective September 1, 2019

  • The local health advisory council already makes recommendations for policies, procedures, strategies and curriculum for health education, physical education, nutrition services, parental involvement, school health services, counseling and guiding services, safe and healthy school environment and school employee wellness, and this bill would require a focus on suicide when considering mental health concerns

  • Requires the local health advisory council to recommend strategies to increase parental awareness regarding risky behaviors and warning signs (including mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders) and community programs and services to address risky behaviors, suicide risks, and behavioral health concerns

  • Requires the local school health advisory council make policy recommendations to increase parental awareness of suicide-related risk factors and warning signs and available community suicide prevention services


  • Adds mental health instruction and suicide prevention to the health curriculum (2019-2020), including:

    • instructions about mental health conditions, substance abuse, skills to manage emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and responsible decision-making

    • suicide prevention, including recognizing suicide-related risk factors and warning signs

  • Requires school districts to include digital citizenship in the district's curriculum (2019-2020)

  • Includes information regarding the potential criminal consequences of cyberbullying ("Digital citizenship" means the standards of appropriate, responsible, and healthy online behavior, including the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act on all forms of digital communication) 

  • School Safety Allotment funds must be used for providing programs related to suicide prevention

  • Requires written consent from a parent or guardian using a model form created by the consortium to provide mental health services to a child under 18 (this doesn’t include the general duties of counselors as described in Sections 33.005, 33.006, or 33.007, Education Code)

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