School Discipline Laws & Regulations by State & Category

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Statesort descending Statute
Texas

LAWS

§ 15.27. Notification to schools required.

(a) A law enforcement agency that arrests any person or refers a child to the office or official designated by the juvenile board who the agency believes is enrolled as a student in a public primary or secondary school, for an offense listed in Subsection (h), shall attempt to ascertain whether the person is so enrolled. If the law enforcement agency ascertains that the individual is enrolled as a student in a public primary or secondary school, the head of the agency or a person designated by the head of the agency shall orally notify the superintendent or a person designated by the superintendent in the school district in which the student is enrolled of that arrest or referral within 24 hours after the arrest or referral is made, or before the next school day, whichever is earlier. If the law enforcement agency cannot ascertain whether the individual is enrolled as a student, the head of the agency or a person designated by the head of the agency shall orally notify the superintendent or a person designated by the superintendent in the school district in which the student is believed to be enrolled of that arrest or detention within 24 hours after the arrest or detention, or before the next school day, whichever is earlier. If the individual is a student, the superintendent or the superintendent's designee shall immediately notify all instructional and support personnel who have responsibility for supervision of the student. All personnel shall keep the information received in this subsection confidential. The State Board for Educator Certification may revoke or suspend the certification of personnel who intentionally violate this subsection. Within seven days after the date the oral notice is given, the head of the law enforcement agency or the person designated by the head of the agency shall mail written notification, marked "PERSONAL and CONFIDENTIAL" on the mailing envelope, to the superintendent or the person designated by the superintendent. The written notification must include the facts contained in the oral notification, the name of the person who was orally notified, and the date and time of the oral notification. Both the oral and written notice shall contain sufficient details of the arrest or referral and the acts allegedly committed by the student to enable the superintendent or the superintendent's designee to determine whether there is a reasonable belief that the student has engaged in conduct defined as a felony offense by the Penal Code. The information contained in the notice shall be considered by the superintendent or the superintendent's designee in making such a determination.

(a-1) The superintendent or a person designated by the superintendent in the school district shall send to a school district employee having direct supervisory responsibility over the student the information contained in the confidential notice under Subsection (a).

(b) On conviction, deferred prosecution, or deferred adjudication or an adjudication of delinquent conduct of an individual enrolled as a student in a public primary or secondary school, for an offense or for any conduct listed in Subsection (h) of this article, the office of the prosecuting attorney acting in the case shall orally notify the superintendent or a person designated by the superintendent in the school district in which the student is enrolled of the conviction or adjudication and whether the student is required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62. Oral notification must be given within 24 hours of the time of the order or before the next school day, whichever is earlier. The superintendent shall, within 24 hours of receiving notification from the office of the prosecuting attorney, or before the next school day, whichever is earlier, notify all instructional and support personnel who have regular contact with the student. Within seven days after the date the oral notice is given, the office of the prosecuting attorney shall mail written notice, which must contain a statement of the offense of which the individual is convicted or on which the adjudication, deferred adjudication, or deferred prosecution is grounded and a statement of whether the student is required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62.

(c) A parole, probation, or community supervision office, including a community supervision and corrections department, a juvenile probation department, the paroles division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, having jurisdiction over a student described by Subsection (a), (b), or (e) who transfers from a school or is subsequently removed from a school and later returned to a school or school district other than the one the student was enrolled in when the arrest, referral to a juvenile court, conviction, or adjudication occurred shall within 24 hours of learning of the student's transfer or reenrollment, or before the next school day, whichever is earlier, notify the superintendent or a person designated by the superintendent of the school district to which the student transfers or is returned or, in the case of a private school, the principal or a school employee designated by the principal of the school to which the student transfers or is returned of the arrest or referral in a manner similar to that provided for by Subsection (a) or (e)(1), or of the conviction or delinquent adjudication in a manner similar to that provided for by Subsection (b) or (e)(2). The superintendent of the school district to which the student transfers or is returned or, in the case of a private school, the principal of the school to which the student transfers or is returned shall, within 24 hours of receiving notification under this subsection or before the next school day, whichever is earlier, notify all instructional and support personnel who have regular contact with the student.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1240, Sec. 5, eff. June 15, 2007.

(e)(1) A law enforcement agency that arrests, or refers to a juvenile court under Chapter 52, Family Code, an individual who the law enforcement agency knows or believes is enrolled as a student in a private primary or secondary school shall make the oral and written notifications described by Subsection (a) to the principal or a school employee designated by the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled.

(2) On conviction, deferred prosecution, or deferred adjudication or an adjudication of delinquent conduct of an individual enrolled as a student in a private primary or secondary school, the office of prosecuting attorney shall make the oral and written notifications described by Subsection (b) of this article to the principal or a school employee designated by the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled.

(3) The principal of a private school in which the student is enrolled or a school employee designated by the principal shall send to a school employee having direct supervisory responsibility over the student the information contained in the confidential notice, for the same purposes as described by Subsection (a-1) of this article.

(f) A person who receives information under this article may not disclose the information except as specifically authorized by this article. A person who intentionally violates this article commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.

(g) The office of the prosecuting attorney or the office or official designated by the juvenile board shall, within two working days, notify the school district that removed a student to a disciplinary alternative education program under Section 37.006, Education Code, if:

(1) prosecution of the student's case was refused for lack of prosecutorial merit or insufficient evidence and no formal proceedings, deferred adjudication, or deferred prosecution will be initiated; or

(2) the court or jury found the student not guilty or made a finding the child did not engage in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision and the case was dismissed with prejudice.

(h) This article applies to any felony offense and the following misdemeanors:

(1) An offense under Section 20.02, 21.08, 22.01, 22.05, 22.07, or 71.02, Penal Code;

(2) The unlawful use, sale, or possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, or marihuana, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code; or

(3) The unlawful possession of any of the weapons or devices listed in Sections 46.01(1)-(14) or (16), Penal Code, or a weapon listed as a prohibited weapon under Section 46.05, Penal Code.

(i) A person may substitute electronic notification for oral notification where oral notification is required by this article. If electronic notification is substituted for oral notification, any written notification required by this article is not required.

(j) The notification provisions of this section concerning a person who is required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62 do not lessen the requirement of a person to provide any additional notification prescribed by that chapter.

(k) Oral or written notice required under this article must include all pertinent details of the offense or conduct, including details of any:

(1) Assaultive behavior or other violence;

(2) Weapons used in the commission of the offense or conduct; or

(3) Weapons possessed during the commission of the offense or conduct.

(l) If a school district board of trustees learns of a failure by the superintendent of the district or a district principal to provide a notice required under Subsection (a), (a-1), or (b), the board of trustees shall report the failure to the State Board for Educator Certification. If the governing body of a private primary or secondary school learns of a failure by the principal of the school to provide a notice required under Subsection (e), and the principal holds a certificate issued under Subchapter B, Chapter 21, Education Code, the governing body shall report the failure to the State Board for Educator Certification.

(m) If the superintendent of a school district in which the student is enrolled learns of a failure of the head of a law enforcement agency or a person designated by the head of the agency to provide a notification under Subsection (a), the superintendent or principal shall report the failure to notify to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

(n) If a juvenile court judge or official designated by the juvenile board learns of a failure by the office of the prosecuting attorney to provide a notification required under Subsection (b) or (g), the official shall report the failure to notify to the elected prosecuting attorney responsible for the operation of the office.

(o) If the supervisor of a parole, probation, or community supervision department officer learns of a failure by the officer to provide a notification under Subsection (c), the supervisor shall report the failure to notify to the director of the entity that employs the officer.

§ 129A.001. Definition.

In this chapter, "cyberbullying" has the meaning assigned by Section 37.0832(a), Education Code.

§ 129A.002. Injunctive relief.

(a) A recipient of cyberbullying behavior who is younger than 18 years of age at the time the cyberbullying occurs or a parent of or person standing in parental relation to the recipient may seek injunctive relief under this chapter against the individual who was cyberbullying the recipient or, if the individual is younger than 18 years of age, against a parent of or person standing in parental relation to the individual.

(b) A court may issue a temporary restraining order, temporary injunction, or permanent injunction appropriate under the circumstances to prevent any further cyberbullying, including an order or injunction:

(1) Enjoining a defendant from engaging in cyberbullying; or

(2) Compelling a defendant who is a parent of or person standing in parental relation to an individual who is younger than 18 years of age to take reasonable actions to cause the individual to cease engaging in cyberbullying.

(c) A plaintiff in an action for injunctive relief brought under this section is entitled to a temporary restraining order on showing that the plaintiff is likely to succeed in establishing that the individual was cyberbullying the recipient. The plaintiff is not required to plead or prove that, before notice can be served and a hearing can be held, immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage is likely to result from past or future cyberbullying by the individual against the recipient.

(d) A plaintiff is entitled to a temporary or permanent injunction under this section on showing that the individual was cyberbullying the recipient.

(e) A court granting a temporary restraining order or temporary injunction under this section may, on motion of either party or sua sponte, order the preservation of any relevant electronic communication. The temporary restraining order or temporary injunction is not required to:

(1) Define the injury or state why it is irreparable;

(2) State why the order was granted without notice; or

(3) Include an order setting the cause for trial on the merits with respect to the ultimate relief requested.

§ 129A.003. Promulgation of forms.

(a) The supreme court shall, as the court finds appropriate, promulgate forms for use as an application for initial injunctive relief by individuals representing themselves in suits involving cyberbullying and instructions for the proper use of each form or set of forms.

(b) The forms and instructions:

(1) Must be written in language that is easily understood by the general public;

(2) Shall be made readily available to the general public in the manner prescribed by the supreme court; and

(3) Must be translated into the Spanish language.

(c) The Spanish language translation of a form must:

(1) State:

(A) That the Spanish language translated form is to be used solely for the purpose of assisting in understanding the form and may not be submitted to the court; and

(B) That the English language version of the form must be submitted to the court; or

(2) Be incorporated into the English language version of the form in a manner that is understandable to both the court and members of the general public.

(d) Each form and its instructions must clearly and conspicuously state that the form is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.

(e) The attorney general and the clerk of a court shall inform members of the general public of the availability of a form promulgated by the supreme court under this section as appropriate and make the form available free of charge.

(f) A court shall accept a form promulgated by the supreme court under this section unless the form has been completed in a manner that causes a substantive defect that cannot be cured.

§ 129A.004. Inapplicability.

(a) An action filed under this chapter may not be joined with an action filed under Title 1, 4, or 5, Family Code.

(b) Chapter 27 does not apply to an action under this chapter.

§ 129A.005. Certain conduct excepted.

This chapter does not apply to a claim brought against an interactive computer service, as defined by 47 U.S.C. Section 230, for cyberbullying.

§ 37.006. Removal for certain conduct.

(h) On receipt of notice under Article 15.27(g), Code of Criminal Procedure, the superintendent or the superintendent's designee shall review the student's placement in the disciplinary alternative education program. The student may not be returned to the regular classroom pending the review. The superintendent or the superintendent's designee shall schedule a review of the student's placement with the student's parent or guardian not later than the third class day after the superintendent or superintendent's designee receives notice from the office or official designated by the court. After reviewing the notice and receiving information from the student's parent or guardian, the superintendent or the superintendent's designee may continue the student's placement in the disciplinary alternative education program if there is reason to believe that the presence of the student in the regular classroom threatens the safety of other students or teachers.

(o) In addition to any notice required under Article 15.27, Code of Criminal Procedure, a principal or a principal's designee shall inform each educator who has responsibility for, or is under the direction and supervision of an educator who has responsibility for, the instruction of a student who has engaged in any violation listed in this section of the student's misconduct. Each educator shall keep the information received under this subsection confidential from any person not entitled to the information under this subsection, except that the educator may share the information with the student's parent or guardian as provided for by state or federal law. The State Board for Educator Certification may revoke or suspend the certification of an educator who intentionally violates this subsection.

§ 37.010. Court involvement.

(a) Not later than the second business day after the date a hearing is held under Section 37.009, the board of trustees of a school district or the board's designee shall deliver a copy of the order placing a student in a disciplinary alternative education program under Section 37.006 or expelling a student under Section 37.007 and any information required under Section 52.04, Family Code, to the authorized officer of the juvenile court in the county in which the student resides. In a county that operates a program under Section 37.011, an expelled student shall to the extent provided by law or by the memorandum of understanding immediately attend the educational program from the date of expulsion, except that in a county with a population greater than 125,000, every expelled student who is not detained or receiving treatment under an order of the juvenile court must be enrolled in an educational program.

(b) If a student is expelled under Section 37.007(c), the board or its designee shall refer the student to the authorized officer of the juvenile court for appropriate proceedings under Title 3, Family Code.

§ 37.013. Coordination between school districts and juvenile boards.

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.

§ 37.015. Reports to local law enforcement; Liability.

(a) The principal of a public or private primary or secondary school, or a person designated by the principal under Subsection (d), shall notify any school district police department and the police department of the municipality in which the school is located or, if the school is not in a municipality, the sheriff of the county in which the school is located if the principal has reasonable grounds to believe that any of the following activities occur in school, on school property, or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property, whether or not the activity is investigated by school security officers:

(1) Conduct that may constitute an offense listed under Section 508.149, Government Code;

(2) Deadly conduct under Section 22.05, Penal Code;

(3) A terroristic threat under Section 22.07, Penal Code;

(4) The use, sale, or possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, or marihuana under Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code;

(5) The possession of any of the weapons or devices listed under Sections 46.01(1)--(14) or Section 46.01(16), Penal Code;

(6) Conduct that may constitute a criminal offense under Section 71.02, Penal Code; or

(7) Conduct that may constitute a criminal offense for which a student may be expelled under Section 37.007(a), (d), or (e).

(b) A person who makes a notification under this section shall include the name and address of each student the person believes may have participated in the activity.

(c) A notification is not required under Subsection (a) if the person reasonably believes that the activity does not constitute a criminal offense.

(d) The principal of a public or private primary or secondary school may designate a school employee who is under the supervision of the principal to make the reports required by this section.

(e) The person who makes the notification required under Subsection (a) shall also notify each instructional or support employee of the school who has regular contact with a student whose conduct is the subject of the notice.

(f) A person is not liable in civil damages for reporting in good faith as required by this section.

§ 37.0151. Report to local law enforcement regarding certain conduct constituting assault or harassment; liability.

(a) The principal of a public primary or secondary school, or a person designated by the principal under Subsection (c), may make a report to any school district police department, if applicable, or the police department of the municipality in which the school is located or, if the school is not in a municipality, the sheriff of the county in which the school is located if, after an investigation is completed, the principal has reasonable grounds to believe that a student engaged in conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 22.01 or 42.07(a)(7), Penal Code.

(b) A person who makes a report under this section may include the name and address of each student the person believes may have participated in the conduct.

(c) The principal of a public primary or secondary school may designate a school employee, other than a school counselor, who is under the supervision of the principal to make the report under this section.

(d) A person who is not a school employee but is employed by an entity that contracts with a district or school to use school property is not required to make a report under this section and may not be designated by the principal of a public primary or secondary school to make a report. A person who voluntarily makes a report under this section is immune from civil or criminal liability.

(e) A person who takes any action under this section is immune from civil or criminal liability or disciplinary action resulting from that action.

(f) Notwithstanding any other law, this section does not create a civil, criminal, or administrative cause of action or liability or create a standard of care, obligation, or duty that provides a basis for a cause of action for an act under this section.

(g) A school district and school personnel and school volunteers are immune from suit resulting from an act under this section, including an act under related policies and procedures.

(h) An act by school personnel or a school volunteer under this section, including an act under related policies and procedures, is the exercise of judgment or discretion on the part of the school personnel or school volunteer and is not considered to be a ministerial act for purposes of liability of the school district or the district's employees.

§ 37.017. Destruction of certain records.

Information received by a school district under Article 15.27, Code of Criminal Procedure, may not be attached to the permanent academic file of the student who is the subject of the report. The school district shall destroy the information at the end of the school year in which the report was filed.

§ 37.084. Interagency sharing of records

(a) A school district superintendent or the superintendent's designee shall disclose information contained in a student's educational records to a juvenile service provider as required by Section 58.0051, Family Code.

(b) The commissioner may enter into an interagency agreement to share educational information for research and analytical purposes with the:

(1) Texas Juvenile Justice Department; and

(2) Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

(c) This section does not require or authorize release of student-level information except in conformity with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. Section 1232g), as amended.

§ 37.146. Requisites of complaint.

(a) A complaint alleging the commission of a school offense must, in addition to the requirements imposed by Article 45.019, Code of Criminal Procedure:

(1) Be sworn to by a person who has personal knowledge of the underlying facts giving rise to probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed; and

(2) Be accompanied by a statement from a school employee stating:

(A) Whether the child is eligible for or receives special services under Subchapter A, Chapter 29; and

(B) The graduated sanctions, if required under Section 37.144, that were imposed on the child before the complaint was filed.

(b) After a complaint has been filed under this subchapter, a summons may be issued under Articles 23.04 and 45.057(e), Code of Criminal Procedure.

(c) A complaint under this subchapter may include a recommendation by a school employee that the child attend a teen court program under Article 45.052, Code of Criminal Procedure, if the school employee believes attending a teen court program is in the best interest of the child.

§ 42.07. Harassment.

(a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another, the person:

(1) Initiates communication and in the course of the communication makes a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal that is obscene;

(2) Threatens, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the threat, to inflict bodily injury on the person or to commit a felony against the person, a member of the person's family or household, or the person's property;

(3) Conveys, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the report, a false report, which is known by the conveyor to be false, that another person has suffered death or serious bodily injury;

(4) Causes the telephone of another to ring repeatedly or makes repeated telephone communications anonymously or in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another;

(5) Makes a telephone call and intentionally fails to hang up or disengage the connection;

(6) Knowingly permits a telephone under the person's control to be used by another to commit an offense under this section; or

(7) Sends repeated electronic communications in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another.

(b) In this section:

(1) "Electronic communication" means a transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system. The term includes:

(A) A communication initiated through the use of electronic mail, instant message, network call, a cellular or other type of telephone, a computer, a camera, text message, a social media platform or application, an Internet website, any other Internet-based communication tool, or facsimile machine; and

(B) A communication made to a pager.

(2) "Family" and "household" have the meaning assigned by Chapter 71, Family Code.

(3) "Obscene" means containing a patently offensive description of or a solicitation to commit an ultimate sex act, including sexual intercourse, masturbation, cunnilingus, fellatio, or anilingus, or a description of an excretory function.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if:

(1) The actor has previously been convicted under this section; or

(2) The offense was committed under Subsection (a)(7) and:

(A) The offense was committed against a child under 18 years of age with the intent that the child:

(i) Commit suicide; or

(ii) Engage in conduct causing serious bodily injury to the child; or

(B) The actor has previously violated a temporary restraining order or injunction issued under Chapter 129A, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.