HB 3 amended the Texas Education Code by adding Section §37.1131 (effective September 1, 2023), which requires each school system to adopt a policy for providing notice regarding violent activity that has occurred or is being investigated at a campus, other school system facility, or at a school system-sponsored activity. The policy must:
- Include electronic notification by text messages (SMS) and email (and may also include social media messaging and notifications and by posting on the school system’s website);
- Provide an option for real-time notification (e.g., robocalls and emergency application alerts); and
- Protect student privacy.
Policies must ensure that school systems notify students, staff, and parents (or those standing in parental relation) of certain incidents in a manner that is timely and provides adequate information for parents to assess the specific situation. Accordingly, notifications should be issued as soon as pertinent information is available.
Policies should not be limited to certain types of activities; however, notification must be issued for every incident that may pose a serious or continuing threat to the campus community. Incidents warranting district or campus-wide notifications should be based on the school system’s community needs. If a policy states that a notification will be issued, the school system must follow that policy. For Sample Notification Messages, please see TEA’s guidance related to Guidance on Model Standards for Parental Notification.
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