School Discipline Laws & Regulations by State & Category

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Texas

LAWS

§ 29.022. Video surveillance of special education settings.

(a) In order to promote student safety, on receipt of a written request authorized under Subsection (a-1), a school district or open-enrollment charter school shall provide equipment, including a video camera, to the school or schools in the district or the charter school campus or campuses specified in the request. A school or campus that receives equipment as provided by this subsection shall place, operate, and maintain one or more video cameras in self-contained classrooms and other special education settings in which a majority of the students in regular attendance are provided special education and related services and are assigned to one or more self-contained classrooms or other special education settings for at least 50 percent of the instructional day, provided that:

(1) A school or campus that receives equipment as a result of the request by a parent or staff member is required to place equipment only in classrooms or settings in which the parent's child is in regular attendance or to which the staff member is assigned, as applicable; and

(2) A school or campus that receives equipment as a result of the request by a board of trustees, governing body, principal, or assistant principal is required to place equipment only in classrooms or settings identified by the requestor, if the requestor limits the request to specific classrooms or settings subject to this subsection.

(a-1) For purposes of Subsection (a):

(1) A parent of a child who receives special education services in one or more self-contained classrooms or other special education settings may request in writing that equipment be provided to the school or campus at which the child receives those services;

(2) A board of trustees or governing body may request in writing that equipment be provided to one or more specified schools or campuses at which one or more children receive special education services in self-contained classrooms or other special education settings;

(3) The principal or assistant principal of a school or campus at which one or more children receive special education services in self-contained classrooms or other special education settings may request in writing that equipment be provided to the principal's or assistant principal's school or campus; and

(4) A staff member assigned to work with one or more children receiving special education services in self-contained classrooms or other special education settings may request in writing that equipment be provided to the school or campus at which the staff member works.

(a-2) Each school district or open-enrollment charter school shall designate an administrator at the primary administrative office of the district or school with responsibility for coordinating the provision of equipment to schools and campuses in compliance with this section.

(a-3) A written request must be submitted and acted on as follows:

(1) A parent, staff member, or assistant principal must submit a request to the principal or the principal's designee of the school or campus addressed in the request, and the principal or designee must provide a copy of the request to the administrator designated under Subsection (a-2);

(2) A principal must submit a request by the principal to the administrator designated under Subsection (a-2); and

(3) A board of trustees or governing body must submit a request to the administrator designated under Subsection (a-2), and the administrator must provide a copy of the request to the principal or the principal's designee of the school or campus addressed in the request.

(b) A school or campus that places a video camera in a classroom or other special education setting in accordance with Subsection (a) shall operate and maintain the video camera in the classroom or setting, as long as the classroom or setting continues to satisfy the requirements under Subsection (a), for the remainder of the school year in which the school or campus received the request, unless the requestor withdraws the request in writing. If for any reason a school or campus will discontinue operation of a video camera during a school year, not later than the fifth school day before the date the operation of the video camera will be discontinued, the school or campus must notify the parents of each student in regular attendance in the classroom or setting that operation of the video camera will not continue unless requested by a person eligible to make a request under Subsection (a-1). Not later than the 10th school day before the end of each school year, the school or campus must notify the parents of each student in regular attendance in the classroom or setting that operation of the video camera will not continue during the following school year unless a person eligible to make a request for the next school year under Subsection (a-1) submits a new request.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (c-1), video cameras placed under this section must be capable of:

(1) Covering all areas of the classroom or other special education setting, including a room attached to the classroom or setting used for time-out; and

(2) Recording audio from all areas of the classroom or other special education setting, including a room attached to the classroom or setting used for time-out.

(c-1) The inside of a bathroom or any area in the classroom or other special education setting in which a student's clothes are changed may not be visually monitored, except for incidental coverage of a minor portion of a bathroom or changing area because of the layout of the classroom or setting.

(d) Before a school or campus activates a video camera in a classroom or other special education setting under this section, the school or campus shall provide written notice of the placement to all school or campus staff and to the parents of each student attending class or engaging in school activities in the classroom or setting.

(e) Except as provided by Subsection (e-1), a school district or open-enrollment charter school shall retain video recorded from a video camera placed under this section for at least three months after the date the video was recorded.

(e-1) If a person described by Subsection (i) requests to view a video recording from a video camera placed under this section, a school district or open-enrollment charter school must retain the recording from the date of receipt of the request until the person has viewed the recording and a determination has been made as to whether the recording documents an alleged incident. If the recording documents an alleged incident, the district or school shall retain the recording until the alleged incident has been resolved, including the exhaustion of all appeals.

(f) A school district or open-enrollment charter school may solicit and accept gifts, grants, and donations from any person for use in placing video cameras in classrooms or other special education settings under this section.

(g) This section does not:

(1) Waive any immunity from liability of a school district or open-enrollment charter school, or of district or school officers or employees; or

(2) Create any liability for a cause of action against a school district or open-enrollment charter school or against district or school officers or employees.

(h) A school district or open-enrollment charter school may not:

(1) Allow regular or continual monitoring of video recorded under this section; or

(2) Use video recorded under this section for teacher evaluation or for any other purpose other than the promotion of safety of students receiving special education services in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting.

(i) A video recording of a student made according to this section is confidential and may not be released or viewed except as provided by this subsection or Subsection (i-1) or (j). A school district or open-enrollment charter school shall release a recording for viewing by:

(1) An employee who is involved in an alleged incident that is documented by the recording and has been reported to the district or school, on request of the employee;

(2) A parent of a student who is involved in an alleged incident that is documented by the recording and has been reported to the district or school, on request of the parent;

(3) Appropriate Department of Family and Protective Services personnel as part of an investigation under Section 261.406, Family Code;

(4) A peace officer, a school nurse, a district or school administrator trained in de-escalation and restraint techniques as provided by commissioner rule, or a human resources staff member designated by the board of trustees of the school district or the governing body of the open-enrollment charter school in response to a report of an alleged incident or an investigation of district or school personnel or a report of alleged abuse committed by a student; or

(5) Appropriate agency or State Board for Educator Certification personnel or agents as part of an investigation.

(i-1) A contractor or employee performing job duties relating to the installation, operation, or maintenance of video equipment or the retention of video recordings who incidentally views a video recording is not in violation of Subsection (i).

(j) If a person described by Subsection (i)(4) or (5) who views the video recording believes that the recording documents a possible violation under Subchapter E, Chapter 261, Family Code, the person shall notify the Department of Family and Protective Services for investigation in accordance with Section 261.406, Family Code. If any person described by Subsection (i)(3), (4), or (5) who views the recording believes that the recording documents a possible violation of district or school policy, the person may allow access to the recording to appropriate legal and human resources personnel. A recording believed to document a possible violation of district or school policy relating to the neglect or abuse of a student may be used as part of a disciplinary action against district or school personnel and shall be released at the request of the student's parent in a legal proceeding. This subsection does not limit the access of a student's parent to a record regarding the student under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. Section 1232g) or other law.

(k) The commissioner may adopt rules to implement and administer this section, including rules regarding the special education settings to which this section applies.

(l) A school district or open-enrollment charter school policy relating to the placement, operation, or maintenance of video cameras under this section must:

(1) Include information on how a person may appeal an action by the district or school that the person believes to be in violation of this section or a policy adopted in accordance with this section, including the appeals process under Section 7.057;

(2) Require that the district or school provide a response to a request made under this section not later than the seventh school business day after receipt of the request by the person to whom it must be submitted under Subsection (a-3) that authorizes the request or states the reason for denying the request;

(3) Except as provided by Subdivision (5), require that a school or a campus begin operation of a video camera in compliance with this section not later than the 45th school business day, or the first school day after the 45th school business day if that day is not a school day, after the request is authorized unless the agency grants an extension of time;

(4) Permit the parent of a student whose admission, review, and dismissal committee has determined that the student's placement for the following school year will be in a classroom or other special education setting in which a video camera may be placed under this section to make a request for the video camera by the later of:

(A) The date on which the current school year ends; or

(B) The 10th school business day after the date of the placement determination by the admission, review, and dismissal committee; and

(5) If a request is made by a parent in compliance with Subdivision (4), unless the agency grants an extension of time, require that a school or campus begin operation of a video camera in compliance with this section not later than the later of:

(A) The 10th school day of the fall semester; or

(B) The 45th school business day, or the first school day after the 45th school business day if that day is not a school day, after the date the request is made.

(m) A school district, parent, staff member, or administrator may request an expedited review by the agency of the district's:

(1) Denial of a request made under this section;

(2) Request for an extension of time to begin operation of a video camera under Subsection (l)(3) or (5); or

(3) Determination to not release a video recording to a person described by Subsection (i).

(n) If a school district, parent, staff member, or administrator requests an expedited review under Subsection (m), the agency shall notify all other interested parties of the request.

(o) If an expedited review has been requested under Subsection (m), the agency shall issue a preliminary judgment as to whether the district is likely to prevail on the issue under a full review by the agency. If the agency determines that the district is not likely to prevail, the district must fully comply with this section notwithstanding an appeal of the agency's decision. The agency shall notify the requestor and the district, if the district is not the requestor, of the agency's determination.

(p) The commissioner:

(1) Shall adopt rules relating to the expedited review process under Subsections (m), (n), and (o), including standards for making a determination under Subsection (o); and

(2) May adopt rules relating to an expedited review process under Subsections (m), (n), and (o) for an open-enrollment charter school.

(q) The agency shall collect data relating to requests made under this section and actions taken by a school district or open-enrollment charter school in response to a request, including the number of requests made, authorized, and denied.

(r) A video recording under this section is a governmental record only for purposes of Section 37.10, Penal Code.

(s) This section applies to the placement, operation, and maintenance of a video camera in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting during the regular school year and extended school year services.

(t) A video camera placed under this section is not required to be in operation for the time during which students are not present in the classroom or other special education setting.

(u) In this section:

(1) "Parent" includes a guardian or other person standing in parental relation to a student.

(2) "School business day" means a day that campus or school district administrative offices are open.

(3) "Self-contained classroom" does not include a classroom that is a resource room instructional arrangement under Section 42.151.

(4) "Staff member" means a teacher, related service provider, paraprofessional, counselor, or educational aide assigned to work in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting.

(5) "Time-out" has the meaning assigned by Section 37.0021.

§ 37.0021. Use of confinement, restraint, seclusion, and time-out.

(a) It is the policy of this state to treat with dignity and respect all students, including students with disabilities who receive special education services under Subchapter A, Chapter 29. A student with a disability who receives special education services under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, may not be confined in a locked box, locked closet, or other specially designed locked space as either a discipline management practice or a behavior management technique.

(b) In this section:

(1) "Restraint" means the use of physical force or a mechanical device to significantly restrict the free movement of all or a portion of a student's body.

(2) "Seclusion" means a behavior management technique in which a student is confined in a locked box, locked closet, or locked room that:

(A) Is designed solely to seclude a person; and

(B) Contains less than 50 square feet of space.

(3) "Time-out" means a behavior management technique in which, to provide a student with an opportunity to regain self-control, the student is separated from other students for a limited period in a setting:

(A) That is not locked; and

(B) From which the exit is not physically blocked by furniture, a closed door held shut from the outside, or another inanimate object.

(4) "Law enforcement duties" means activities of a peace officer relating to the investigation and enforcement of state criminal laws and other duties authorized by the Code of Criminal Procedure.

(c) A school district employee or volunteer or an independent contractor of a district may not place a student in seclusion. This subsection does not apply to the use of seclusion in a court-ordered placement, other than a placement in an educational program of a school district, or in a placement or facility to which the following law, rules, or regulations apply:

(1) The Children's Health Act of 2000, Pub. L. No. 106-310, any subsequent amendments to that Act, any regulations adopted under that Act, or any subsequent amendments to those regulations;

(2) 40 T.A.C. Sections 720.1001--720.1013; or

(3) 25 T.A.C. Section 412.308(e).

(d) The commissioner by rule shall adopt procedures for the use of restraint and time-out by a school district employee or volunteer or an independent contractor of a district in the case of a student with a disability receiving special education services under Subchapter A, Chapter 29. A procedure adopted under this subsection must:

(1) Be consistent with:

(A) Professionally accepted practices and standards of student discipline and techniques for behavior management; and

(B) Relevant health and safety standards; and

(2) Identify any discipline management practice or behavior management technique that requires a district employee or volunteer or an independent contractor of a district to be trained before using that practice or technique.

(e) In the case of a conflict between a rule adopted under Subsection (d) and a rule adopted under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, the rule adopted under Subsection (d) controls.

(f) For purposes of this subsection, "weapon" includes any weapon described under Section 37.007(a)(1). This section does not prevent a student's locked, unattended confinement in an emergency situation while awaiting the arrival of law enforcement personnel if:

(1) The student possesses a weapon; and

(2) The confinement is necessary to prevent the student from causing bodily harm to the student or another person.

(g) This section and any rules or procedures adopted under this section do not apply to:

(1) A peace officer performing law enforcement duties, except as provided by Subsection (i);

(2) Juvenile probation, detention, or corrections personnel; or

(3) An educational services provider with whom a student is placed by a judicial authority, unless the services are provided in an educational program of a school district.

(h) This section and any rules or procedures adopted under this section apply to a peace officer only if the peace officer:

(1) Is employed or commissioned by a school district; or

(2) Provides, as a school resource officer, a regular police presence on a school district campus under a memorandum of understanding between the district and a local law enforcement agency.

(i) A school district shall report electronically to the agency, in accordance with standards provided by commissioner rule, information relating to the use of restraint by a peace officer performing law enforcement duties on school property or during a school-sponsored or school-related activity. A report submitted under this subsection must be consistent with the requirements adopted by commissioner rule for reporting the use of restraint involving students with disabilities.

REGULATIONS

19 TAC § 89.1053. Procedures for use of restraint and time-out.

(a) Requirement to implement. In addition to the requirements of 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §300.324(a)(2)(i), school districts and charter schools must implement the provisions of this section regarding the use of restraint and time-out. In accordance with the provisions of Texas Education Code (TEC), §37.0021 (Use of Confinement, Restraint, Seclusion, and Time-Out), it is the policy of the state to treat with dignity and respect all students, including students with disabilities who receive special education services under TEC, Chapter 29, Subchapter A.

(b) Definitions.

(1) Emergency means a situation in which a student's behavior poses a threat of:

(A) Imminent, serious physical harm to the student or others; or

(B) Imminent, serious property destruction.

(2) Restraint means the use of physical force or a mechanical device to significantly restrict the free movement of all or a portion of the student's body.

(3) Time-out means a behavior management technique in which, to provide a student with an opportunity to regain self-control, the student is separated from other students for a limited period in a setting:

(A) That is not locked; and

(B) From which the exit is not physically blocked by furniture, a closed door held shut from the outside, or another inanimate object.

(c) Use of restraint. A school employee, volunteer, or independent contractor may use restraint only in an emergency as defined in subsection (b) of this section and with the following limitations.

(1) Restraint must be limited to the use of such reasonable force as is necessary to address the emergency.

(2) Restraint must be discontinued at the point at which the emergency no longer exists.

(3) Restraint must be implemented in such a way as to protect the health and safety of the student and others.

(4) Restraint must not deprive the student of basic human necessities.

(d) Training on use of restraint. Training for school employees, volunteers, or independent contractors must be provided according to the following requirements.

(1) A core team of personnel on each campus must be trained in the use of restraint, and the team must include a campus administrator or designee and any general or special education personnel likely to use restraint.

(2) Personnel called upon to use restraint in an emergency and who have not received prior training must receive training within 30 school days following the use of restraint.

(3) Training on use of restraint must include prevention and de-escalation techniques and provide alternatives to the use of restraint.

(4) All trained personnel must receive instruction in current professionally accepted practices and standards regarding behavior management and the use of restraint.

(e) Documentation and notification on use of restraint. In a case in which restraint is used, school employees, volunteers, or independent contractors must implement the following documentation requirements.

(1) On the day restraint is utilized, the campus administrator or designee must be notified verbally or in writing regarding the use of restraint.

(2) On the day restraint is utilized, a good faith effort must be made to verbally notify the parent(s) regarding the use of restraint.

(3) Written notification of the use of restraint must be placed in the mail or otherwise provided to the parent within one school day of the use of restraint.

(4) Written documentation regarding the use of restraint must be placed in the student's special education eligibility folder in a timely manner so the information is available to the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee when it considers the impact of the student's behavior on the student's learning and/or the creation or revision of a behavioral intervention plan (BIP).

(5) Written notification to the parent(s) and documentation to the student's special education eligibility folder must include the following:

(A) Name of the student;

(B) Name of the staff member(s) administering the restraint;

(C) Date of the restraint and the time the restraint began and ended;

(D) Location of the restraint;

(E) Nature of the restraint;

(F) A description of the activity in which the student was engaged immediately preceding the use of restraint;

(G) The behavior that prompted the restraint;

(H) The efforts made to de-escalate the situation and alternatives to restraint that were attempted; and

(I) Information documenting parent contact and notification.

(f) Clarification regarding restraint. The provisions adopted under this section do not apply to the use of physical force or a mechanical device that does not significantly restrict the free movement of all or a portion of the student's body. Restraint that involves significant restriction as referenced in subsection (b) (2) of this section does not include:

(1) Physical contact or appropriately prescribed adaptive equipment to promote normative body positioning and/or physical functioning;

(2) Limited physical contact with a student to promote safety (e.g., holding a student's hand), prevent a potentially harmful action (e.g., running into the street), teach a skill, redirect attention, provide guidance to a location, or provide comfort;

(3) Limited physical contact or appropriately prescribed adaptive equipment to prevent a student from engaging in ongoing, repetitive self-injurious behaviors, with the expectation that instruction will be reflected in the individualized education program (IEP) as required by 34 CFR, §300.324(a)(2)(i) to promote student learning and reduce and/or prevent the need for ongoing intervention; or

(4) Seat belts and other safety equipment used to secure students during transportation.

(g) Use of time-out. A school employee, volunteer, or independent contractor may use time-out in accordance with subsection (b)(3) of this section with the following limitations.

(1) Physical force or threat of physical force must not be used to place a student in time-out.

(2) Time-out may only be used in conjunction with an array of positive behavior intervention strategies and techniques and must be included in the student's IEP and/or BIP if it is utilized on a recurrent basis to increase or decrease a targeted behavior.

(3) Use of time-out must not be implemented in a fashion that precludes the ability of the student to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum and advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals specified in the student's IEP.

(h) Training on use of time-out. Training for school employees, volunteers, or independent contractors must be provided according to the following requirements.

(1) General or special education personnel who implement time-out based on requirements established in a student's IEP and/or BIP must be trained in the use of time-out.

(2) Newly-identified personnel called upon to implement time-out based on requirements established in a student's IEP and/or BIP must receive training in the use of time-out within 30 school days of being assigned the responsibility for implementing time-out.

(3) Training on the use of time-out must be provided as part of a program which addresses a full continuum of positive behavioral intervention strategies, and must address the impact of time-out on the ability of the student to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum and advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals specified in the student's IEP.

(4) All trained personnel must receive instruction in current professionally accepted practices and standards regarding behavior management and the use of time-out.

(i) Documentation on use of time-out. Necessary documentation or data collection regarding the use of time-out, if any, must be addressed in the IEP or BIP. The ARD committee must use any collected data to judge the effectiveness of the intervention and provide a basis for making determinations regarding its continued use.

(j) Student safety. Any behavior management technique and/or discipline management practice must be implemented in such a way as to protect the health and safety of the student and others. No discipline management practice may be calculated to inflict injury, cause harm, demean, or deprive the student of basic human necessities.

(k) Data reporting. With the exception of actions covered by subsection (f) of this section, data regarding the use of restraint must be electronically reported to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in accordance with reporting standards specified by the TEA.

(l) Peace officers. The provisions adopted under this section apply to a peace officer only if the peace officer is employed or commissioned by the school district or provides, as a school resource officer, a regular police presence on a school district campus under a memorandum of understanding between the school district and a local law enforcement agency, except that the data reporting requirements in subsection (k) of this section apply to the use of restraint by any peace officer performing law enforcement duties on school property or during a school-sponsored or school-related activity.

(m) The provisions adopted under this section do not apply to:

(1) Juvenile probation, detention, or corrections personnel; or

(2) An educational services provider with whom a student is placed by a judicial authority, unless the services are provided in an educational program of a school district.