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HB 2597 - School safety; plans; task force

Tracking Level: Monitor
Sponsor: Daniel Hernandez
Last Action: 2/20/2019 - House PS Committee action: Do Pass Amended, voting: (5-2-0-0-0-0)
House Committee: Rules
Assigned To:
Miscellaneous Next Bill

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

This bill requires school districts, beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, to adopt and annually provide to all employees of the district a Safe Schools Plan (SSP) to improve recognition and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students.

Requires each district's SSP to include the following:

  1. Identify possible training opportunities in recognition, screening and referral that may be available for school staff, including efforts to use the expertise of current school staff who have been previously trained;
  2. Describe how staff should respond to suspicions or concerns of emotional or behavioral distress in students;
  3. Develop partnerships with community organizations for referral of distressed students to support services, including the development of at least one memorandum between the district and an appropriate community entity;
  4. Include protocols and procedures for communication with parents;
  5. Describe appropriate staff responses to a crisis situation in which a student is in imminent danger;
  6. Describe how the district will provide support to students and staff after an incident of violence or youth suicide;

Requires each district to annually distribute the SSP to all employees. 

Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, by February 1 2020, to develop and annually post on the ADE website a model Safe Schools Plan with relevant resources and information to support districts in their implementation. 

Requires the Superintendent to annually post on the ADE site a list of statewide resources that provide support to:

  1. Youth who have been subjected to school-based discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying; or
  2. Youth who have been affected by gangs, gun violence and psychological trauma.

Requires a district to notify and obtain consent from a parent before screening or referring a student to someone. 

Requires the Superintendent to establish a Safe Schools Taskforce and to submit a report to the governor, The President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House that includes the findings and recommendations of the taskforce by December 1, 2022.

Includes an automatic repeal of the taskforce after December 31, 2022.

Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text / PDF