School Discipline Laws & Regulations by State & Category

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Texas

LAWS

§ 21.462. Resources regarding students with mental health needs.

The agency, in coordination with the Health and Human Services Commission, shall establish and maintain an Internet website to provide resources for school district or open-enrollment charter school employees regarding working with students with mental health conditions. The agency must include on the Internet website information about:

(1) Grief-informed and trauma-informed practices;

(2) Building skills related to managing emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and responsible decision-making;

(3) Positive behavior interventions and supports; and

(4) A safe and supportive school climate.

§ 25.0915. Truancy prevention measures.

(a) A school district shall adopt truancy prevention measures designed to:

(1) Address student conduct related to truancy in the school setting before the student engages in conduct described by Section 65.003(a), Family Code; and

(2) Minimize the need for referrals to truancy court for conduct described by Section 65.003(a), Family Code.

(a-1) As a truancy prevention measure under Subsection (a), a school district shall take one or more of the following actions:

(1) Impose:

(A) A behavior improvement plan on the student that must be signed by an employee of the school, that the school district has made a good faith effort to have signed by the student and the student's parent or guardian, and that includes:

(i) A specific description of the behavior that is required or prohibited for the student;

(ii) The period for which the plan will be effective, not to exceed 45 school days after the date the contract becomes effective; or

(iii) The penalties for additional absences, including additional disciplinary action or the referral of the student to a truancy court; or

(B) School-based community service; or

(2) Refer the student to counseling, mediation, mentoring, a teen court program, community-based services, or other in-school or out-of-school services aimed at addressing the student's truancy.

(a-2) A referral made under Subsection (a-1)(2) may include participation by the child's parent or guardian if necessary.

(a-3) A school district shall offer additional counseling to a student and may not refer the student to truancy court if the school determines that the student's truancy is the result of:

(1) Pregnancy;

(2) Being in the state foster program;

(3) Homelessness; or

(4) Being the principal income earner for the student's family.

(a-4) If a student fails to attend school without excuse on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period but does not fail to attend school for the time described by Section 25.0951(a), the school district shall initiate truancy prevention measures under this section on the student.

(b) Each referral to truancy court for conduct described by Section 65.003(a), Family Code, must:

(1) Be accompanied by a statement from the student's school certifying that:

(A) The school applied the truancy prevention measures adopted under Subsection (a) or (a-4) to the student; and

(B) The truancy prevention measures failed to meaningfully address the student's school attendance; and

(2) Specify whether the student is eligible for or receives special education services under Subchapter A, Chapter 29.

(c) A truancy court shall dismiss a petition filed by a truant conduct prosecutor under Section 65.054, Family Code, if the court determines that the school district's referral:

(1) Does not comply with Subsection (b);

(2) Does not satisfy the elements required for truant conduct;

(3) Is not timely filed, unless the school district delayed the referral under Section 25.0951(d); or

(4) Is otherwise substantively defective.

(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), a school district shall employ a truancy prevention facilitator or juvenile case manager to implement the truancy prevention measures required by this section and any other effective truancy prevention measures as determined by the school district or campus. At least annually, the truancy prevention facilitator shall meet to discuss effective truancy prevention measures with a case manager or other individual designated by a truancy court to provide services to students of the school district in truancy cases.

(e) Instead of employing a truancy prevention facilitator, a school district may designate an existing district employee or juvenile case manager to implement the truancy prevention measures required by this section and any other effective truancy prevention measures as determined by the school district or campus.

(f) The agency shall adopt rules:

(1) Creating minimum standards for truancy prevention measures adopted by a school district under this section; and

(2) Establishing a set of best practices for truancy prevention measures.

(g) The agency shall adopt rules to provide for sanctions for a school district found to be not in compliance with this section.

§ 29.081. Compensatory, intensive, and accelerated instruction.

(d) For purposes of this section, "student at risk of dropping out of school" includes each student who is under 26 years of age and who:

(1) Was not advanced from one grade level to the next for one or more school years;

(2) If the student is in grade 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12, did not maintain an average equivalent to 70 on a scale of 100 in two or more subjects in the foundation curriculum during a semester in the preceding or current school year or is not maintaining such an average in two or more subjects in the foundation curriculum in the current semester;

(3) Did not perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument administered to the student under Subchapter B, Chapter 39, and who has not in the previous or current school year subsequently performed on that instrument or another appropriate instrument at a level equal to at least 110 percent of the level of satisfactory performance on that instrument;

(4) If the student is in prekindergarten, kindergarten, or grade 1, 2, or 3, did not perform satisfactorily on a readiness test or assessment instrument administered during the current school year;

(5) is pregnant or is a parent;

(6) Has been placed in an alternative education program in accordance with Section 37.006 during the preceding or current school year;

(7) Has been expelled in accordance with Section 37.007 during the preceding or current school year;

(8) Is currently on parole, probation, deferred prosecution, or other conditional release;

(9) Was previously reported through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) to have dropped out of school;

(10) Is a student of limited English proficiency, as defined by Section 29.052;

(11) Is in the custody or care of the Department of Family and Protective Services or has, during the current school year, been referred to the department by a school official, officer of the juvenile court, or law enforcement official;

(12) Is homeless, as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 11302, and its subsequent amendments; or

(13) Resided in the preceding school year or resides in the current school year in a residential placement facility in the district, including a detention facility, substance abuse treatment facility, emergency shelter, psychiatric hospital, halfway house, cottage home operation, specialized child-care home, or general residential operation.

(d-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (d)(1), a student is not considered a student at risk of dropping out of school if the student did not advance from prekindergarten or kindergarten to the next grade level only as the result of the request of the student's parent.

(e) A school district may use a private or public community-based dropout recovery education program to provide alternative education programs for students at risk of dropping out of school. The program may be offered:

(1) At a campus; or

(2) Through the use of an Internet online program that leads to a high school diploma and prepares the student to enter the workforce.

(e-1) A campus-based dropout recovery education program must:

(1) Provide not less than four hours of instructional time per day;

(2) Employ as faculty and administrators persons with baccalaureate or advanced degrees;

(3) Provide at least one instructor for each 28 students;

(4) Perform satisfactorily according to performance indicators and accountability standards adopted for alternative education programs by the commissioner; and

(5) Comply with this title and rules adopted under this title except as otherwise provided by this subsection.

(e-2) An Internet online dropout recovery education program must:

(1) Include as a part of its curriculum credentials, certifications, or other course offerings that relate directly to employment opportunities in the state;

(2) Employ as faculty and administrators persons with baccalaureate or advanced degrees;

(3) Provide an academic coach and local advocate for each student;

(4) Use an individual learning plan to monitor each student's progress;

(5) Establish satisfactory requirements for the monthly progress of students according to standards set by the commissioner;

(6) Provide a monthly report to the student's school district regarding the student's progress;

(7) Perform satisfactorily according to performance indicators and accountability standards adopted for alternative education programs by the commissioner; and

(8) Comply with this title and rules adopted under this title except as otherwise provided by this subsection.

(f) The commissioner shall include students in attendance in a program under Subsection (e) in the computation of the district's average daily attendance for funding purposes.

(g) In addition to students described by Subsection (d), a student who satisfies local eligibility criteria adopted by the board of trustees of a school district may receive instructional services under this section. The number of students receiving services under this subsection during a school year may not exceed 10 percent of the number of students described by Subsection (d) who received services from the district during the preceding school year.

§ 30.106. Reading and behavior plan.

(a) Because learning and behavior are inextricably linked and learning and improved behavior correlate with decreased recidivism rates, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department shall not only fulfill the department's duties under state and federal law to provide general and special educational services to students in department educational programs but also shall implement a comprehensive plan to improve the reading skills and behavior of those students.

(c) To increase the positive social behaviors of students in department educational programs and to create an educational environment that facilitates learning, the department shall:

(1) Adopt system-wide classroom and individual positive behavior supports that incorporate a continuum of prevention and intervention strategies that:

(A) Are based on current behavioral research; and

(B) Are systematically and individually applied to students consistent with the demonstrated level of need;

(2) require each teacher and other educational staff member in a department educational program to be trained in implementing the positive behavior support system adopted under Subdivision (1); and

(3) Adopt valid assessment techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of the positive behavior support system according to the following criteria:

(A) Documentation of school-related disciplinary referrals, disaggregated by the type, location, and time of infraction and by subgroups designated under department rule;

(B) Documentation of school-related disciplinary actions, including time-out, placement in security, and use of restraints and other aversive control measures, disaggregated by subgroups designated under department rule;

(C) Validated measurement of systemic positive behavioral support interventions; and

(D) The number of minutes students are out of the regular classroom because of disciplinary reasons.

(d) The department shall consult with faculty from institutions of higher education who have expertise in reading instruction for adolescents, in juvenile corrections, and in positive behavior supports to develop and implement the plan under Subsections (b) and (c).

(e) A student in a department educational program may not be released on parole from the department unless the student participates, to the extent required by department rule, in the positive behavior support system under Subsection (c). A student in a department educational program who exhibits deficits in reading on the assessments adopted under Subsection (b)(1) must also participate in reading instruction to the extent required by this section and by department rule before the student may be released on parole.

§ 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).

§ 37.051. Establishment.

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.

§ 37.052. Cooperative programs.

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.

§ 37.053. Cooperation of governmental agencies.

(a) Each governmental agency that is concerned with children and that has jurisdiction in the school district shall cooperate with the school-community guidance centers on the request of the superintendent of the district and shall designate a liaison to work with the centers in identifying and correcting problems affecting school-age children in the district.

(b) The governmental agency may establish or finance a school-community guidance center jointly with the school district according to terms approved by the governing body of each entity participating in the joint establishment or financing of the center.

§ 37.054. Parental notice, consent, and access to information.

(a) Before a student is admitted to a school-community guidance center, the administrator of the center must notify the student's parent or guardian that the student has been assigned to attend the center.

(b) The notification must include:

(1) The reason that the student has been assigned to the center;

(2) A statement that on request the parent or guardian is entitled to be fully informed in writing of any treatment method or testing program involving the student; and

(3) A statement that the parent or guardian may request to be advised and to give written, signed consent for any psychological testing or treatment involving the student.

(c) If, after notification, a parent refuses to consent to testing or treatment of the student, the center may not provide any further psychological treatment or testing.

(d) A parent or guardian of a student attending a center is entitled to inspect:

(1) Any instructional or guidance material to be used by the student, including teachers' manuals, tapes, and films; and

(2) The results of any treatment, testing, or guidance method involving the student.

(e) The administrator of the center may set a schedule for inspection of materials that allows reasonable access but does not interfere with the conduct of classes or business activities of the school.

§ 37.055. Parental involvement.

(a) On admitting a student to a school-community guidance center, a representative of the school district, the student, and the student's parent shall develop an agreement that specifies the responsibilities of the parent and the student. The agreement must include:

(1) A statement of the student's behavioral and learning objectives;

(2) A requirement that the parent attend specified meetings and conferences for teacher review of the student's progress; and

(3) The parent's acknowledgement that the parent understands and accepts the responsibilities imposed by the agreement regarding attendance at meetings and conferences and assistance in meeting other objectives, defined by the district, to aid student remediation.

(b) The superintendent of the school district may obtain a court order from a district court in the school district requiring a parent to comply with an agreement made under this section. A parent who violates a court order issued under this subsection may be punished for contempt of court.

(c) In this section, "parent" includes a legal guardian.

§ 37.056. Court supervision.

(a) In this section, "court" means a juvenile court or alternate juvenile court designated under Chapter 51, Family Code. The court may delegate responsibility under this section to a referee appointed under Section 51.04, Family Code.

(b) If a representative of the school district, the student, and the parent or guardian for any reason fail to reach an agreement under Section 37.055, the court may, on the request of any party and after a hearing, enter an order establishing the responsibilities and duties of each of the parties as the court considers appropriate.

(c) The court may compel attendance at any hearing held under this section through any legal process, including subpoena and habeas corpus.

(d) If the parties reach an agreement under Section 37.055, and if the written agreement so provides, the court may enter an order that incorporates the terms of the agreement.

(e) Any party who violates an order issued under this section may be punished for contempt of court.

(f) A school district may enter into an agreement to share the costs incurred by a county under this section.

§ 161.325. Mental health promotion and intervention, substance abuse prevention and intervention, and suicide prevention.

(a) The department, in coordination with the Texas Education Agency and regional education service centers, shall provide and annually update a list of recommended best practice-based programs and research-based practices in the areas specified under Subsection (a-1) for implementation in public elementary, junior high, middle, and high schools within the general education setting. Each school district may select from the list a program or programs appropriate for implementation in the district.

(a-1) The list must include programs and practices in the following areas:

(1) Early mental health intervention;

(2) Building skills related to managing emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and responsible decision-making;

(3) Substance abuse prevention;

(4) Substance abuse intervention;

(5) Suicide prevention;

(6) Trauma-informed practices;

(7) Positive school climates; and

(8) Positive behavior supports.

(a-2) The department, the Texas Education Agency, and each regional education service center shall make the list easily accessible on their websites.

(a-3) For purposes of Subsection (a-1), "school climate" means the quality and character of school life, including interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures, as experienced by students enrolled in the school district, parents of those students, and personnel employed by the district.

(b) The suicide prevention programs on the list must include components that provide for training counselors, teachers, nurses, administrators, and other staff, as well as law enforcement officers and social workers who regularly interact with students, to:

(1) Recognize students at risk of committing suicide, including students who are or may be the victims of or who engage in bullying;

(2) Recognize students displaying early warning signs and a possible need for early mental health or substance abuse intervention, which warning signs may include declining academic performance, depression, anxiety, isolation, unexplained changes in sleep or eating habits, and destructive behavior toward self and others; and

(3) Intervene effectively with students described by Subdivision (1) or (2) by providing notice and referral to a parent or guardian so appropriate action, such as seeking mental health or substance abuse services, may be taken by a parent or guardian.

(c) In developing the list of best practice-based programs and research-based practices, the department and the Texas Education Agency shall consider:

(1) Any existing suicide prevention method developed by a school district; and

(2) Any Internet or online course or program developed in this state or another state that is based on best practices recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

(c-1) Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, each school district shall provide training described in the components set forth under Subsection (b) for teachers, counselors, principals, and all other appropriate personnel. A school district is required to provide the training at an elementary school campus only to the extent that sufficient funding and programs are available. A school district may implement a program on the list to satisfy the requirements of this subsection.

(c-2) If a school district provides the training under Subsection (c-1):

(1) A school district employee described under that subsection must participate in the training at least one time; and

(2) The school district shall maintain records that include the name of each district employee who participated in the training.

(d) A school district may develop practices and procedures concerning each area listed in Subsection (a-1), including mental health promotion and intervention, substance abuse prevention and intervention, and suicide prevention, that:

(1) Include a procedure for providing notice of a recommendation for early mental health or substance abuse intervention regarding a student to a parent or guardian of the student within a reasonable amount of time after the identification of early warning signs as described by Subsection (b)(2);

(2) Include a procedure for providing notice of a student identified as at risk of committing suicide to a parent or guardian of the student within a reasonable amount of time after the identification of early warning signs as described by Subsection (b)(2);

(3) Establish that the district may develop a reporting mechanism and may designate at least one person to act as a liaison officer in the district for the purposes of identifying students in need of early mental health or substance abuse intervention or suicide prevention; and

(4) Set out available counseling alternatives for a parent or guardian to consider when their child is identified as possibly being in need of early mental health or substance abuse intervention or suicide prevention.

(e) The practices and procedures developed under Subsection (d) must prohibit the use without the prior consent of a student's parent or guardian of a medical screening of the student as part of the process of identifying whether the student is possibly in need of early mental health or substance abuse intervention or suicide prevention.

(f) The practices and procedures developed under Subsection (d) must be included in:

(1) The annual student handbook; and

(2) The district improvement plan under Section 11.252, Education Code.

(g) The department may accept donations for purposes of this section from sources without a conflict of interest. The department may not accept donations for purposes of this section from an anonymous source.

(h) Expired.

(i) Nothing in this section is intended to interfere with the rights of parents or guardians and the decision-making regarding the best interest of the child. Practices and procedures developed in accordance with this section are intended to notify a parent or guardian of a need for mental health or substance abuse intervention so that a parent or guardian may take appropriate action. Nothing in this section shall be construed as giving school districts the authority to prescribe medications. Any and all medical decisions are to be made by a parent or guardian of a student.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.