School Discipline Laws & Regulations by State & Category

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Texas

LAWS

§ 11.252. District-Level planning and decision-making.

(a) Each school district shall have a district improvement plan that is developed, evaluated, and revised annually, in accordance with district policy, by the superintendent with the assistance of the district-level committee established under Section 11.251. The purpose of the district improvement plan is to guide district and campus staff in the improvement of student performance for all student groups in order to attain state standards in respect to the achievement indicators adopted under Sections 39.053(c)(1)-(4). The district improvement plan must include provisions for:

(3) Strategies for improvement of student performance that include:

(A) Instructional methods for addressing the needs of student groups not achieving their full potential;

(B) Methods for addressing the needs of students for special programs, including:

(i) Suicide prevention programs, in accordance with Subchapter O-1, Chapter 161, Health and Safety Code, which includes a parental or guardian notification procedure;

(ii) Conflict resolution programs;

(iii) Violence prevention programs; [...]

(C) Dropout reduction;

(D) Integration of technology in instructional and administrative programs;

(E) Discipline management;

§ 28.002. Required curriculum.

(a) Each school district that offers kindergarten through grade 12 shall offer, as a required curriculum:

(2) An enrichment curriculum that includes:

(B) Health, with emphasis on;

(i) Physical health, including the importance of proper nutrition and exercise; and

(ii) Mental health, including instruction about mental health conditions and substance abuse;

(r) In adopting the essential knowledge and skills for the health curriculum under Subsection (a)(2)(B), the State Board of Education shall adopt essential knowledge and skills that address the dangers, causes, consequences, signs, symptoms, and treatment of binge drinking, alcohol poisoning, and other forms of substance abuse. The agency shall compile a list of evidence-based substance abuse awareness programs from which a school district shall choose a program to use in the district's middle school, junior high school, and high school health curriculum. In this subsection, "evidence-based substance abuse awareness program" means a program, practice, or strategy that has been proven to effectively prevent substance abuse among students, as determined by evaluations that are evidence-based

(s) In this subsection, "bullying" has the meaning assigned by Section 37.0832 and "harassment" has the meaning assigned by Section 37.001. In addition to any other essential knowledge and skills the State Board of Education adopts for the health curriculum under Subsection (a)(2)(B), the board shall adopt for the health curriculum, in consultation with the Texas School Safety Center, essential knowledge and skills that include evidence-based practices that will effectively address awareness, prevention, identification, self-defense in response to, and resolution of and intervention in bullying and harassment.

(w) In adopting the essential knowledge and skills for the health curriculum under Subsection (a)(2)(B), the State Board of Education shall adopt essential knowledge and skills that address the dangers, causes, consequences, signs, symptoms, and treatment of nonmedical use of prescription drugs. The agency shall compile a list of evidence-based prescription drug misuse awareness programs from which a school district may choose a program to use in the district's middle school, junior high school, and high school health curriculums. In this subsection, an "evidence-based prescription drug misuse awareness program" means a program, practice, or strategy that has been proven to effectively prevent nonmedical use of prescription drugs among students, as determined by evaluations that use valid and reliable measures and that are published in peer-reviewed journals.

§ 28.004. Local school health advisory council and health education instruction.

(a) The board of trustees of each school district shall establish a local school health advisory council to assist the district in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the district's health education instruction.

(b) A school district must consider the recommendations of the local school health advisory council before changing the district's health education curriculum or instruction.

(c) The local school health advisory council's duties include recommending:

(1) The number of hours of instruction to be provided in health education;

(2) Policies, procedures, strategies, and curriculum appropriate for specific grade levels designed to prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and mental health concerns through coordination of:

(A) Health education;

(B) Physical education and physical activity;

(C) Nutrition services;

(D) Parental involvement;

(E) Instruction to prevent the use of e-cigarettes, as defined by Section 161.081, Health and Safety Code, and tobacco;

(F) School health services;

(G) Counseling and guidance services;

(H) A safe and healthy school environment; and

(I) School employee wellness;

(3) Appropriate grade levels and methods of instruction for human sexuality instruction;

(4) Strategies for integrating the curriculum components specified by Subdivision (2) with the following elements in a coordinated school health program for the district:

(A) School health services;

(B) Counseling and guidance services;

(C) A safe and healthy school environment; and

(D) School employee wellness; and

(5) If feasible, joint use agreements or strategies for collaboration between the school district and community organizations or agencies.

(d) The board of trustees shall appoint at least five members to the local school health advisory council. A majority of the members must be persons who are parents of students enrolled in the district and who are not employed by the district. One of those members shall serve as chair or co-chair of the council. The board of trustees also may appoint one or more persons from each of the following groups or a representative from a group other than a group specified under this subsection:

(1) Public school teachers;

(2) Public school administrators;

(3) District students;

(4) Health care professionals;

(5) The business community;

(6) Law enforcement;

(7) Senior citizens;

(8) The clergy;

(9) Nonprofit health organizations; and

(10) Local domestic violence programs.

(d-1) The local school health advisory council shall meet at least four times each year.

(e) Any course materials and instruction relating to human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome shall be selected by the board of trustees with the advice of the local school health advisory council and must:

(1) Present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for unmarried persons of school age;

(2) Devote more attention to abstinence from sexual activity than to any other behavior;

(3) Emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity, if used consistently and correctly, is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity;

(4) Direct adolescents to a standard of behavior in which abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome; and

(5) Teach contraception and condom use in terms of human use reality rates instead of theoretical laboratory rates, if instruction on contraception and condoms is included in curriculum content.

(f) A school district may not distribute condoms in connection with instruction relating to human sexuality.

(g) A school district that provides human sexuality instruction may separate students according to sex for instructional purposes.

(h) The board of trustees shall determine the specific content of the district's instruction in human sexuality, in accordance with Subsections (e), (f), and (g).

(i) Before each school year, a school district shall provide written notice to a parent of each student enrolled in the district of the board of trustees' decision regarding whether the district will provide human sexuality instruction to district students. If instruction will be provided, the notice must include:

(1) A summary of the basic content of the district's human sexuality instruction to be provided to the student, including a statement informing the parent of the instructional requirements under state law;

(2) A statement of the parent's right to:

(A) Review curriculum materials as provided by Subsection (j); and

(B) Remove the student from any part of the district's human sexuality instruction without subjecting the student to any disciplinary action, academic penalty, or other sanction imposed by the district or the student's school; and

(3) Information describing the opportunities for parental involvement in the development of the curriculum to be used in human sexuality instruction, including information regarding the local school health advisory council established under Subsection (a).

(i-1) A parent may use the grievance procedure adopted under Section 26.011 concerning a complaint of a violation of Subsection (i).

(j) A school district shall make all curriculum materials used in the district's human sexuality instruction available for reasonable public inspection.

(k) A school district shall publish in the student handbook and post on the district's Internet website, if the district has an Internet website:

(1) A statement of the policies adopted to ensure that elementary school, middle school, and junior high school students engage in at least the amount and level of physical activity required by Section 28.002(l);

(2) A statement of:

(A) The number of times during the preceding year the district's school health advisory council has met;

(B) Whether the district has adopted and enforces policies to ensure that district campuses comply with agency vending machine and food service guidelines for restricting student access to vending machines; and

(C) Whether the district has adopted and enforces policies and procedures that prescribe penalties for the use of e-cigarettes, as defined by Section 38.006, and tobacco products by students and others on school campuses or at school-sponsored or school-related activities; and

(3) A statement providing notice to parents that they can request in writing their child's physical fitness assessment results at the end of the school year.

(l) The local school health advisory council shall consider and make policy recommendations to the district concerning the importance of daily recess for elementary school students. The council must consider research regarding unstructured and undirected play, academic and social development, and the health benefits of daily recess in making the recommendations. The council shall ensure that local community values are reflected in any policy recommendation made to the district under this subsection.

(l-1) The local school health advisory council shall establish a physical activity and fitness planning subcommittee to consider issues relating to student physical activity and fitness and make policy recommendations to increase physical activity and improve fitness among students.

(m) In addition to performing other duties, the local school health advisory council shall submit to the board of trustees, at least annually, a written report that includes:

(1) Any council recommendation concerning the school district's health education curriculum and instruction or related matters that the council has not previously submitted to the board;

(2) Any suggested modification to a council recommendation previously submitted to the board;

(3) A detailed explanation of the council's activities during the period between the date of the current report and the date of the last prior written report; and

(4) Any recommendations made by the physical activity and fitness planning subcommittee.

(n) Any joint use agreement that a school district and community organization or agency enter into based on a recommendation of the local school health advisory council under Subsection (c)(5) must address liability for the school district and community organization or agency in the agreement.

§ 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).

§ 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).

§ 37.083. Discipline management programs; Sexual harassment policies.

(a) Each school district shall adopt and implement a discipline management program to be included in the district improvement plan under Section 11.252. 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 [...]

§ 37.201. Definition.

In this subchapter, "center" means the Texas School Safety Center.

§ 37.202. Purpose.

The purpose of the center is to serve as:

(1) A central location for school safety and security information, including research, training, and technical assistance related to successful school safety and security programs;

(2) A central registry of persons providing school safety and security consulting services in the state; and

(3) A resource for the prevention of youth violence and the promotion of safety in the state.

§ 37.205. Safety training programs.

The center shall conduct for school districts a safety training program that includes:

(1) Development of a positive school environment and proactive safety measures designed to address local concerns;

(2) School safety courses for law enforcement officials, with a focus on school district police officers and school resource officers;

(3) Discussion of school safety issues with parents and community members; and

(4) Assistance in developing a multihazard emergency operations plan for adoption under Section 37.108.

§ 37.218. Programs on dangers of students sharing visual material depicting minor engaged in sexual conduct.

(a) In this section:

(1) "Bullying" has the meaning assigned by Section 37.0832.

(2) "Cyberbullying" has the meaning assigned by Section 37.0832.

(3) "Harassment" has the meaning assigned by Section 37.001.

(4) "Sexual conduct" has the meaning assigned by Section 43.25, Penal Code.

(b) The center, in consultation with the office of the attorney general, shall develop programs for use by school districts that address:

(1) The possible legal consequences, including criminal penalties, of sharing visual material depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct;

(2) Other possible consequences of sharing visual material depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct, including:

(A) Negative effects on relationships;

(B) Loss of educational and employment opportunities; and

(C) Possible removal, if applicable, from certain school programs or extracurricular activities;

(3) The unique characteristics of the Internet and other communications networks that could affect visual material depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct, including:

(A) Search and replication capabilities; and

(B) A potentially worldwide audience;

(4) The prevention of, identification of, responses to, and reporting of incidents of bullying; and

(5) The connection between bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, and a minor sharing visual material depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct.

(c) Each school district shall annually provide or make available information on the programs developed under Subsection (b) to parents and students in a grade level the district considers appropriate. Each district shall provide or make available the information by any means the district considers appropriate.

§ 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.