Bill Summaries: all (2017-2018 Session)

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  • Summary date: Jun 6 2018 - View summary

    House amendments make the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    Amendment #1 amends proposed GS 115C-105.60(g) to allow, after a determination that an individual poses an imminent risk threat, a health care provider to disclose protected health information to a member of a threat assessment team who is a school nurse, school psychologist, or other licensed health or licensed mental health professional (was, the information could be disclosed to any member of a threat assessment team). Limits the protected health information that can be disclosed to that information that is related to an imminent risk threat to the health or safety of school staff or students. Requires the member of the team receiving the records to provide an explanation of the records when sharing those records with the remainder of the team.

    Amendment #2 amends proposed GS 115C-105.60(e) by adding to the actions that the superintendent (or designee) must take when it is determined that an individual poses a high risk or imminent risk threat of violence or physical harm to self or others, that when the imminent risk threat is determined to be an emergency under the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act, the superintendent must give notice to individuals who are the subject of the threat and to a student's parent or legal guardian when a student is the subject of a threat. Allows the superintendent to delegate this responsibility to the school principal and allows requiring notice to be made to the principal directly. Makes additional conforming technical changes.


  • Summary date: May 30 2018 - View summary

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Changes the act's long and short titles.

    Section 1

    Organizes Article 8C of GS Chapter 115C, Local Plans For Alternative Schools/Alternative Learning Programs and Maintaining Safe and Orderly Schools, into parts, titling Part 1, Local Plans for Alternative Schools/Alternative Leaning Programs, and titling Part 2, Maintaining Safe and Orderly Schools. Codifies GS 115C-105.46 (State Board of Education responsibilities), GS 115C-105.47A (Proposals to establish alternative learning programs or alternative schools), and GS 115C-105.48 (Placement of students in alternative schools/alternative learning programs) into Part 1, and the remainder of Article 8C into Part 2.

    Deletes the proposed changes to GS 115C-5, adding the defined term public school unit.

    Enacts GS 115C-105.48A to Part 2 of Article 8C, setting forth definitions concerning school safety. Defines local school administrative unit and post-secondary school. Defines local school administrative unit as either the local board of education of a local school administrative unit, the board of directors of a charter school, the board of directors of a regional school, or the governing entity of a school providing elementary or secondary instruction operated either by the State Board of Education, including schools operated under Article 7A and Article 9C of GS Chapter 115, or the University of North Carolina, including schools operated under Articles 4, 29, and 29A of GS Chapter 116.

    Provides that if Senate Bill 99 (Appropriations Act of 2018) of the 2017 Regular Session becomes law, GS 115C-105.51(g), defining public secondary school, is repealed.

    Section 2

    Modifies and adds to proposed GS 115C-105.57 (was, proposed GS 115C-105.75), which establishes the NC Center for Safer Schools (Center). Modifies the responsibilities of the Center to now include: (1) providing training and professional development for public school personnel in the development and implementation of initiatives promoting school safety (previously, providing training for public school personnel); (2) providing technical and instructional assistance to facilitate the development of partnerships between the public and private sectors to promote school safety in the state (previously, encouraging the development of these partnerships); and (3) developing model policies for threat assessment teams for local school administrative units, including procedures for the assessment of and intervention with students whose behavior poses a threat to the safety of school staff or students (previously, developing model policies  for threat assessment teams for public schools, including procedures for the assessment of and intervention with students whose behavior poses a threat to the safety of school staff or students). Eliminates the responsibility of providing technical assistance to public schools in the development and implementation of intiatives promoting school safety. Adds the following responsibilities: (1) recommending a system of accountability to the General Assembly to document school safety exercises, including practice school lockdowns, required by GS 115C-105.49; (2) assisting law enforcement officers assigned to schools and their agencies in active shooter response drills and other pertinent school safety related training; (3) collaborating with the North Carolina Justice Academy, North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, and the North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission to establish and maintain an updated training curriculum for school resource officers; (4) coordinating grants for school resource officers in elementary and middle schools established in Section 8.36 of SL 2013-360 and ensuring that training requirements for school resource officers funded by those grants are met; and (5) providing technical assistance to local school administrative units in the development and implementation of initiatives promoting school safety. Adds to the agencies the Center is to coordinate and collaborate with in carrying out its duties the NC SBI Fusion Center, Information Sharing, & Analysis Center.

    Specifies that guidelines for threat assessment teams required by Section 2 must be developed by the Center no later than December 31, 2018.

    Section 3

    Modifies proposed GS 115C-105.60 (was, proposed GS 115C-105.76), concerning the establishment of threat assessment teams, as follows.

    Adds a new subsection to provide defined terms applicable to the statute, including local board of education, superintendent, threat, threat assessment, and threat assessment team. Makes conforming and organizational changes. Defines superintendent to mean the superintendent or, if there is no superintendent, the staff member with the highest decision making authority (previously, was the only term defined in the statute and was defined as the superintendent of a local school administrative unit or the staff member with the highest decision-making authority for all other public school units). Defines threat as a concerning communication or behavior that indicates that an individual poses a danger to the safety of school staff or students through acts of violence or other behavior that would cause harm to self or others. Specifies that the threat may be expressed or communicated behaviorally, orally, visually, in writing, electronically, or through any other means, and is considered a threat regardless of whether it is observed by or communicated directly to the target of the threat or observed by or communicated to a third party, and regardless of whether the target of the threat is aware of the threat. Defines threat assessment team as a team that includes persons with expertise in counseling, instruction, school administration, and law enforcement that conducts threat assessments in a local school administrative unit. Requires that when practicable, at least one member of a threat assessment team must be a psychologist or psychiatrist. Adds that members of a threat assessment team who are not employees of the local school administrative unit can review student records as provided in 34 CFR § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B) pursuant to a written agreement with the local school administrative unit of the requirements and responsibilities for use of student records under the federal Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act (FERPA).

    Requires local boards of education to adopt policies for the establishment of threat assessment teams, including the conduct of threat assessments and intervention with individuals whose behavior may pose a threat to the safety of school staff or students (previously, required local boards of education and the governing body of each public school unit to adopt policies for the establishment of threat assessment teams, including the assessment of and intervention with students whose behavior may pose a threat to the safety of school staff or students), consistent with the model policies developed by the Center in accordance with GS 115C-105.75.

    Authorizes the superintendent to establish a committee charged with coordination and monitoring of (previously, charged with the oversight of) the threat assessment teams operating within the unit as previously specified.

    Adds new provisions to require each threat assessment team to conduct threat assessment to determine appropriate actions and intervention based on the level of threat determined by the assessment. Details parameters for a threat assessment team to determine the level of threat posed by an individual or situation, with threats ranging from low risk, moderate risk, high risk, and imminent risk as specified. Also requires each threat assessment team to utilize anonymous reporting applications for students to receive information about school safety concerns requiring investigation.

    Adds new provisions concerning the superintendent or the superintendent's designee's response to a threat assessment team's determination that an individual poses a high risk or imminent risk threat of violence or physical harm to self or others. Requires that, in the case of an imminent risk threat, the superintendent or designee must immediately notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency, and the case of a high risk threat, the superintendent or designee must notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency when recommended by the threat assessment team. Additionally requires the superintendent or designee to refer the matter to the appropriate mental health resources when recommended by the threat assessment team. Further, requires the superintendent or designee to comply with the requirements set out in Article 27 of GS Chapter 115C for any student discipline actions.

    Specifies the data each threat assessment team must report to the Center.

    Deletes the previous provisions allowing a threat assessment team to obtain health or criminal records upon its preliminary determination that a student poses a threat of violence to self or others or exhibits significantly disruptive behavior or need for assistance. Instead, establishes that a threat assessment team can obtain health or criminal records, as specified, only upon its preliminary determination that an individual poses an imminent risk threat. Specifically authorizes the threat assessment team to have access to written notifications in juvenile records pursuant to GS 7B-3101 and information gained from examination of juvenile records in accordance with GS 7B-3100 held in accordance with GS 115C-404. Establishes that information shared among members of the threat assessment team are confidential, not public record, and can only be released in connection with an emergency established by the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act (FERPA). 

    Requires that all local school administrative units, as defined by new GS 115C-105.48A(1), must establish threat assessment teams as required by Section 3 no later than March 1, 2019.

    Enacts GS 143B-931A, authorizing the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to provide a criminal record check to the members of a threat assessment team pursuant to GS 115-105.76 (intends new GS 115-105.60) when a preliminary determination has been made that an individual poses an imminent risk threat to school safety. Prohibits redisclosure or improper use of any criminal history information by a member of a threat assessment team. 

    Section 4

    Amends the proposed changes to GS 115C-47 to require local boards of education to require the establishment of peer-to-peer student support programs (previously, peer to peer student counseling programs) at all schools with grades six and higher. Makes conforming changes to GS 115C-47 and GS 115C-316.1.

    Amends the proposed changes to GS 115C-316.1, requiring school counselors to coordinate and provide training for students in peer-to-peer student support programs that address areas such as conflict resolution, general health and wellness, and mentoring (previously, conflict resolution was not included). Adds that the Center will support school counselors in the administration and delivery of the peer-to-peer student support programs. 

    Section 5

    Provides that if House Bill 938 of the 2017 Regular Session becomes law, Sections 1 and 4 of the act are repealed. 

    Section 6

    Maintains the previous provision providing that the act applies beginning with the 2018-19 school year.

    Deletes the $1 million appropriation to the Department of Public Instruction.


  • Summary date: May 16 2018 - View summary

    Section 1

    Amends GS 115C-5 to add a new subdivision (11) defining “public school unit” to include local school administrative units, charter schools, regional schools, and schools operated by specified state agencies.  

    Section 2

    Adds new GS 115C-105.75 creating the North Carolina Center for Safer Schools (The Center). The Center will (1) serve as a resource for public schools by conducting research, sponsoring workshops, and providing information; (2) provide training for public school personnel; (3) disseminate information to public schools on effective school safety initiatives; (4) collect and analyze North Carolina school safety data; (5) encourage development of partnerships between public and private sectors to promote school safety; (6) provide technical assistance to North Carolina public schools in development of school safety initiatives; (7) develop model policies for threat assessment teams for public schools, including procedures for the assessment of and intervention with students whose behavior poses a threat to school safety. The Center must work with the Task Force for Safer Schools, local law enforcement agencies, and other government agencies.

    Section 3

    Adds new GS 115C-105.76 directing the creation of threat assessment teams by the local board of education and governing body of each public school unit. The threat assessment teams are responsible for assessment of and intervention with students whose behavior may pose a threat to school safety consistent with the model policies created by the Center. These policies must include procedures for referral to health care providers for evaluation and treatment, where appropriate.

    Each superintendent must establish threat assessment teams to serve one or more schools, which will include persons with expertise in counseling, instruction, school administration, and law enforcement. The threat assessment teams must provide guidance for students and staff regarding the recognition of threatening behavior, identify members of the school community to whom threatening behavior should be reported, and implement policies adopted by the board of education and local school administrative units.

    If a threat assessment team makes a preliminary determination that a student poses a threat of violence, the team must immediately report to the superintendent or principal, who must immediately notify the student’s legal guardian.

    If there is a preliminary determination that the student poses a threat of violence, the threat assessment team may obtain criminal and health history records of the student.

    Section 4

    Amends GS 115C-47 to add new subsection (64), requiring the creation of peer-to-peer student counseling programs. Local boards of education must require the creation of peer-to-peer student mentoring, counseling, and support programs established at all schools with grades six or higher. Such programs are encouraged to be created for other grades as well.

    Adds new subsection (c) to GS 115C-316.1, adding a duty for school counselors to coordinate and provide training for students in the peer-to-peer mentoring, counseling, and support programs that address areas such as mental health and wellness.

    Section 5

    Appropriates $1 million to the Department of Public Instruction for one-time grants to local school administrative units for training and materials for peer-to-peer mentoring, counseling, and support programs in schools serving students in grades six and higher. The State Board of Education must award grants of these monies to local school administrative units in the amount of $5,000 per school for training and materials for evidence-based peer-to-peer student mentoring, counseling, and support programs as identified by the Center for Safer Schools. The State Board of Education must award grants to applicants in the order in which they are received. An initial grant may not exceed $20,000 per local school administrative unit. If funds remain after the initial grants have been awarded, the Board may award a second round of grants using the same criteria. Applications for grants from local school administrative units in Tier 1 counties must be given priority in awarding initial grants.

    Section 6

    Section 5 is effective July 1 2018. All other sections are effective when act becomes law, and applies beginning with the  2018-19 school year.