AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THAT SCHOOL SAFETY REQUIREMENTS APPLY TO ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS, CLARIFY THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE CENTER FOR SAFER SCHOOLS, REQUIRE THREAT ASSESSMENT TEAMS BE ESTABLISHED AT EACH PUBLIC SCHOOL AND CODIFY THE DUTIES OF THREAT ASSESSMENT TEAMS, REQUIRE LME/MCOS TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO STUDENTS REFERRED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, REQUIRE LOCAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION TO REQUIRE PEER-TO-PEER SUPPORT PROGRAMS AT ALL SCHOOLS WITH GRADES SIX AND HIGHER, REQUIRE REPORTING ON THE OPERATIONAL STATUS OF ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS DURING STATES OF EMERGENCY, DEFINE THE TERM "SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER" AND REQUIRE TRAINING FOR SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS, AND REQUIRE ANNUAL VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENTS FOR EACH PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDING.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Amends the proposed duties of the Center for Safer Schools in GS 115C-105.57 by expanding upon the entities the Center must consult with in developing policies (was, model policies) for threat assessment teams for public school units, by adding that the policies are not a public record, and expanding upon procedures that must be included in the policies.
Amends proposed GS 115C-105.60 as follows. Amends the definition of threat to provide that the communication may be considered a threat (was, 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. Amends the definition of threat assessment team to (1) clarify that a threat assessment is conducted when a threat has been communicated and (2) require that, when practicable, at least one member of a threat assessment team be a school psychologist or if a school psychologist is not available, a psychologist or psychiatrist (was, be a psychologist or psychiatrist). Amends the policy that must be adopted to now require a public school unit governing body to adopt at a minimum the policies developed by the Center for Safer Schools for the establishment of threat assessment teams, including specified provisions, and adds that these policies are not a public record. Allows the superintendent to charge a designee with establishing a committee to coordinate and monitor the threat assessment teams. Amends the actions that a team must take when a threat has been communicated to require that a threat assessment be conducted to determine appropriate actions and intervention based on the level of risk (was, based on the level of threat); makes conforming changes to refer to "risk" instead of "threat." Amends the responses that are triggered by a report that an individual poses a high risk or imminent risk of violence or physical harm by (1) requiring that the superintendent or designee give the specified notices upon determining that the imminent risk is an emergency (was, in the case of an imminent risk threat determined to be an emergency under the standards established by the Family Education and Privacy Rights Act). Makes additional clarifying changes and (2) when recommended by the threat assessment team, the superintendent or designee must refer the student to the local management entity/managed care organization that serves the catchment area in which the student resides for assistance (was, must refer the matter to the appropriate mental health resources when recommended by the threat assessment team). Removes reference to preliminary determinations by the threat assessment team. Adds civil liability immunity for governing bodies of public school units and their members, employees, designees, agents, or volunteers. Makes conforming changes to GS 143B-931A.
Amends GS 143B-931A by allowing for the provision of criminal record checks to the members of the threat assessment team under GS 115C-105.60 (was, under GS 105.76).
Amends GS 122C-115.4 by adding to an LME's primary functions receiving referals from school superintendents or designees related to students residing in the LME/MCO's catchment area. Requires that the LME/MCO contact the student's parent or guardian within 10 calendar days after receiving the referral and provide assistance with identifying the appropriate existing mental health resources available to the student.
Requires that public school units establish policies by March 1, 2020. Makes GS 115C-47(64) and GS 115C-316.1(c), concerning peer-to-peer student support programs, applicable beginning with the 2020-21 school year. Encourages all boards of education to have such programs by the 2019-20 school year.
Deletes proposed changes to GS 115C-47(40).
Amends proposed GS 115C-105.50 by deleting previous (b) and instead requiring that in the event of a countywide state of emergency, each public school unit in the county under the state of emergency must report the operational status of all schools in the unit's jurisdiction to the local board of county commissioners or designee as long as the countywide state of emergency is in place. Makes conforming changes.
Amends proposed GS 115C-105.70 to make clarifying changes to school resource officers. Adds that all assigned duties and responsibilities must comply with the requirements of any written memorandum of understanding between the school and the agency governing the school resource officer. Adds to the entities that must be included in establishing initial training and continuing education standards for school resource officers. Makes conforming changes.
Amends proposed GS 115C-105.52A by requiring that the facility vulnerability assessment tool be in the form of a checklist designed to assess the potential vulnerabilities arising from day-to-day policies and procedures in the operation of school buildings.
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