Texas House Bill 3926
Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 4-0)
Status: Introduced on March 7 2019 - 25% progression, died in committee
Action: 2019-04-25 - Left pending in committee
Pending: House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Text: Latest bill text (Introduced) [HTML]
Relating to creating the criminal offenses of obtaining medical treatment by deception for a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual and continuous abuse of a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual.
Date Chamber Action
2019-04-25 House Left pending in committee
2019-04-25 House Testimony taken/registration(s) recorded in committee
2019-04-25 House Considered in public hearing
2019-04-25 House Scheduled for public hearing on . . .
2019-03-21 House Referred to Criminal Jurisprudence
2019-03-21 House Read first time
2019-03-07 House Filed
HARDENING OF CAMPUS FACILITIES
Improve the infrastructure and design of Texas schools to reduce security threats. School facilities are soft targets. Although our schools are filled with children, we often leave them vulnerable and
exposed to external threats. As Texas continues to respond to the threat of active shooters on campus, every possible solution must be evaluated. In order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the role school infrastructure and design play in preventing an active shooter, the Legislature should consider improvements to security, including the potential use of metal detectors or deadbolt locks for certain doors, and greater control of entrances, exits, and external access.
Discussions have included architects, law enforcement, superintendents, teachers, and students.
Their diverse viewpoints made it clear that no one-size-fits-all program or recommendation exists. For example, some round table participants wanted more metal detectors, while other participants explained the shortcomings of that strategy. School hardening can mean several different things, and ultimately the decision on what and how many security
measures to take is up to the locally elected school board. Parents, teachers, and principals should all be involved in the school board’s determination of what security measures are needed to protect their students. Everyone involved must be sensitive to resisting the impulse to simply turn our schools into armed fortresses. Instead, we must integrate the needs of security with the essential mission of our schools – educating the next generation of Texas students.
Further dialogue and information sharing is essential to develop a slate of best practices, flexible and adaptable recommendations that schools can use to suit their local needs. These recommendations should include options for the retrofit of existing buildings as well as a set of design principles that should guide new construction. Schools should be able to access a list of trusted partners to implement these plans to ensure they are working with the best
vendors possible. All of these recommendations should be periodically updated to keep pace with new technological developments and lessons learned by other districts.
The Texas School Safety Center has collected data on the current safety of Texas school facilities. According to a 2015 – 2016 survey done by TSSC:
School hardening can take several different forms, none of which is mutually exclusive. Typical infrastructure hardening is one option. Structural improvements could include:
The hardening of school facilities is important. While it is not the only solution to keeping schools safer, it is an important defense in cases where a student has already decided to harm themselves, their peers, or educators. Through rigorous safety procedures a school district can protect students from harm. More information and resources can be provided by the Texas School Safety Center. Upgrades to existing facilities are costly, though a variety of federal funds for equipment, technology, and security personnel are available to ISDs. The Legislature should consider evaluating these options and providing guidance to school districts on the issue.
To read the full text of the Texas School Safety Action Plan - CLICK HERE
School safety advocates are promoting a proposal to require panic alert devices in all Texas classrooms.
The Committee Substitute to House Bill 204 requires districts to implement a “multihazard emergency operations plan” based on guidelines set forth by the Texas School Safety Center, the governor’s office of homeland security and the state’s education commissioner.
A key component of the bill’s requirements is a panic alert device — either physical or digital — to trigger communication with law enforcement.
The legislation is dubbed “Alyssa’s Law” after Floridian Alyssa Alhadeff who died in the Parkland high school shooting in 2018.
“So vivacious, loved life, was a soccer player… just an amazing person, and I miss her so much,” her mom, Lori said Tuesday (4/13/21). Lori Alhadeff traveled to Texas to testify on the legislation.
The bill was slated for a hearing in the House Public Education Committee on 4.
HB204 requires districts the panic alert device to allow for “immediate contact with district
emergency services or emergency services agencies, law enforcement agencies, health departments, and fire departments,” according to the bill’s committee substitute.
The language requires junior college districts include a panic alert device or a phone in the classroom.
Similar legislation passed in Florida and has taken effect in New Jersey.
Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill
Status: Introduced on November 9 2020 - 25% progression
Action: 2021-04-13 - Left pending in committee
Pending: House Public Education Committee
Text: Latest bill text (Introduced) [HTML]
Relating to requiring school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to provide a landline telephone or panic button in every classroom.
Date Chamber Action
2021-04-13 House Left pending in committee
2021-04-13 House Testimony taken/registration(s) recorded in committee
2021-04-13 House Committee substitute considered in committee
2021-04-13 House Considered in public hearing
2021-04-13 House Scheduled for public hearing on . . .
2021-02-25 House Referred to Public Education
2021-02-25 House Read first time
2020-11-09 House Filed