AN ACT TO CREATE THE POSITION OF TEACHER RESOURCE OFFICER, TO PERMIT LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO OBTAIN CERTIFICATION FOR CANDIDATE TEACHER RESOURCE OFFICERS, TO ESTABLISH THE CANDIDATE TEACHER RESOURCE OFFICER GRANT PROGRAM, TO PROVIDE SUPPLEMENTAL PAY TO TEACHER RESOURCE OFFICERS, TO ENCOURAGE PRIVATE SCHOOLS TO COORDINATE WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO ADOPT SCHOOL RISK MANAGEMENT PLANS, TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN EMPLOYEES AND VOLUNTEERS AT PRIVATE SCHOOLS MAY CARRY CERTAIN WEAPONS ON EDUCATIONAL PROPERTY WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE SCHOOL BOARD OF TRUSTEES OR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON WHO HAS A CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMIT MAY CARRY CERTAIN WEAPONS ON EDUCATIONAL PROPERTY THAT IS THE LOCATION OF BOTH A SCHOOL AND A PLACE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP WHEN THE PERSON IS ATTENDING WORSHIP SERVICES AND OTHER SACERDOTAL FUNCTIONS AT THE PLACE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP AS LONG AS STUDENTS ARE NOT ATTENDING CLASS.
Titles the act the School Security Act of 2019.
Enacts GS 115C-105.50, providing for the state to support the efforts of teachers to protect the school community by paying a significant salary differential to selected teachers who complete Basic Law Enforcement Training and become sworn law enforcement officers certified under GS Chapter 17C (by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education And Training Standards Commission) or Chapter 17E (by the North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission), referred to as teacher resource officers. Defines teacher resource officer to mean a person who (1) is employed by a public education entity, (2) spends at least 70% of his or her work time providing classroom instruction, (3) is a sworn law enforcement officer certified under either GS Chapter 17C or GS Chapter 17E, (4) was selected by the employing public education entity, and (5) has not received a notice of elimination pursuant to subsection (m) in the past 30 or more days. Sets forth other defined terms applicable to the new statute.
Provides for the process for selecting prospective teacher resource officers whereby a teacher can apply with his or her employing public education entity and the entity determines, in consultation with a local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction, whether the prospective teacher resource officer qualifies to pursue certification under either GS Chapter 17C or Chapter 17E. Requires candidate teacher resource officers to pursue certification as a sworn law enforcement officer by applying with the appropriate city or county police department or sheriff's office, or if either decline to pursue certification for the candidate, the candidate must take and subscribe the oath of office required of a law enforcement officer of the employing public education entity as specified. Establishes that the teacher resource officer's certification records and oath are not public record.
Details the powers of a teacher resource officer while in the performance of his or her duties to be the same as municipal and county police officers to make arrests for felonies and misdemeanors, and to charge for infractions on: entity educational property; any portion of any public road or highway passing through the real property owned by or in the possession of the employing public education entity or immediately adjoining it; and any other real property while in continuous and immediate pursuit of a person for an offense committed upon the property owned, possessed by, or adjoining property owned or possessed by the employing public education entity. Requires teacher resource officers to apply standards established by state and federal law in the exercise of these powers.
Authorizes the employing public education entity to enter into joint agreements with the governing board of any municipality or county, or any other public education entity, to extend the law enforcement authority of one or more teacher resource officers and determine the circumstances as to which extension can be granted. Before entering into a joint agreement with the governing board of another county, also requires that the employing public education entity obtain the consent of the sheriff.
Prohibits a teacher resource officer from being required to wear a uniform but requires carrying a badge, photograph, or written documentation that identifies him or her as a teacher resource officer while on the employing public education entity's education property.
Requires the employing public education entity to consult with any entity that maintains the teacher resource officer's certification to determine on an individual basis the extent to which the teacher resource officer is required to carry a handgun in an open or concealed manner, and whether each individual teacher resource officer is required to carry a handgun on his or her person at all times or is permitted to sometimes stow the handgun in a locked gun safe.
Details the training required of a teacher resource officer, including all applicable in-service training required of a law enforcement officer, and active shooter training established by the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission or the NC Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission (Standards Commissions) at least once every five years.
Establishes that the identity, certification records, and oath of a teacher resource officer, and data and information of such, are confidential and not public records.
Provides for immunity for a teacher resource officer, the entity that maintains the teacher resource officer's certification, the employees of the entity who supervise the teacher resource officer as a law enforcement officer, or the public school system or its employees.
Specifies that a teacher resource officer is not a law enforcement officer within the meaning of Article 3 of GS Chapter 128 (retirement system for counties, cities, and towns); Articles 12, 12D, 12E, and 12F of GS Chapter 143 (retirement system, benefits, separation allowances and separate benefit insurance plan for state and local law enforcement officers); and GS Chapter 135 (retirement system, Social Security, and health plan for teachers and state employees).
Sets out a procedure for the elimination from duty in the event a teacher resource officer is not fulfilling his or her duties by providing 30 days' notice to the teacher resource officer before eliminating the duty and stopping payment, as described.
Amends GS 115C-325 and GS 115C-325.1 (setting out defined terms applicable to the employment of public school teachers) to clarify that any reduction in salary that results from elimination of a special duty such as a teacher resource officer is not a demotion.
Amends GS 17C-6 and GS 17E-4, adding to the duties of both Standards Commissions the duty to establish active shooter training for teacher resource officers.
Amends GS 160A-288, concerning cooperation between law enforcement agencies, to provide that an employing public education entity as defined in new GS 115C-105.50 is considered the equivalent of a municipal police department for purposes of the statute.
Enacts GS 160A-288.5 and GS 162-27, providing respectively for the chief of police or sheriff to obtain certification of a candidate teacher resource officer to become a law enforcement officer or deputy sheriff, as appropriate, and subsequently direct and supervise the teacher resource officer when he or she is carrying out duties related to his or her role as a law enforcement officer or deputy sheriff. Includes oath of office requirements for each respective agency and reiterates that the oath is not public record.
Amends GS 17C-2, adding employing public education entities as defined in new GS 115C-105.50 to those included in the term "criminal justice agencies" as it is used in GS Chapter 17C (North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission). Makes technical change.
Amends GS 14-269, adding officers of employing public education entities when acting in the discharge of their official duties to those specifically exempt from the general prohibition against carrying concealed weapons when not on one's own premises.
Directs the Department of Public Instruction (Department), in collaboration with the UNC Board of Governors, to establish the Candidate Teacher Resource Officer Grant Program (program). The purpose of the program is to support candidate teacher resource officers (candidates) who seek to increase school safety by becoming teacher resource officers. Any candidate is eligible to apply for grant funds under the program. Directs the Department, in collaboration with the UNC Board of Governors, to select recipients for the funds first from applicants with at least two years of experience as either a law enforcement officer or a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who was honorably discharged. If funds remain after selecting from these candidates, the Department will select applicants at its discretion, taking into consideration law enforcement and military experience and the importance of distributing grant funds throughout the State. Directs the Department, in collaboration with the UNC Board of Governors, to establish criteria, guidelines, and required documentation for the grant application process for the upcoming school year by August 1, 2019. Applications will be accepted until November 1, 2019. Grant funds will be awarded to recipients by December 31, 2019. Directs the State to provide up to two weeks of additional paid leave to all candidates participating in the program. Candidates may take paid leave only with supervisor approval. Grant funds are to cover the full costs of attending Basic Law Enforcement Training, including tuition, books, and uniforms, as determined by the Department. Directs the Department to award the appropriate amount, in its discretion, based on individual applications and supporting documentation.
Appropriates $4.77 million in nonrecurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year from the General Fund to the Department to fund the grant program for up to 3,000 candidates.
Sets the funded ratio of teacher resource officers to students per school at one resource officer per 500 students, not to exceed the total statewide funded cap of 3,000 resource officers. Upon meeting the criteria to become a resource officer, a teacher will submit to the Department a one-time application to receive a salary supplement each month of 5% of their monthly salary on the A salary schedule. The Department will provide these salary supplements on a first-come, first-served basis until the perschool funded ratio or total statewide funded cap is reached.
Appropriates $4.5 million in recurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year from the General Fund to the Department to provide a 5% salary supplement to resource officers as provided above. The General Assembly intends to appropriate an additional $4.5 million in recurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year to continue to provide this 5% salary supplement.
Amends GS 115C, Article 39, Parts 1 and 2, to add new GS 115C-548.5 and GS 115C-556.5, respectively. These sections encourage private church schools and schools of religious charter, and nonpublic schools, respectively, to adopt school risk management plans relating to incidents of school violence, in coordination with local law enforcement and emergency management agencies. Encourages these schools to provide schematic diagrams and keys to the main entrance of school facilities to local law enforcement agencies and place crisis kits in schools. Encourages private schools to hold a school-wide lockdown exercise as part of the risk management plan with local law enforcement and emergency management agencies at least once a year. Allows a private school board of trustees or administrative director to authorize, with the consent of the local sheriff, a person with a concealed handgun permit to possess and carry a handgun on school property. Encourages the school to coordinate with local law enforcement concerning the responsibilities of any person carrying such a weapon. Nonreligious private schools must obtain the consent of the local sheriff before authorizing a person to carry such a weapon on school property.
Amends GS 14-269.2 (forbidding weapons on school campuses), adding new subdivisions (a)(1c), defining a school board of trustees, and (a)(1d), defining a school administrative director. Amends GS 14-269.2(g) (exceptions to prohibition against carrying weapons on school campus) by adding subdivisions (8) and (9). Subdivision (8) exempts an employee or volunteer of a private school from the prohibition on carrying a handgun on school campus who meets all of the following criteria: the person has written authorization from the school board of trustees or administrative director and the local sheriff to carry the handgun on school grounds; the weapon is a handgun; the person has a concealed handgun permit; the person annually successfully completes eight hours of courses on or relating to gun safety, under the direct supervision of a certified National Rifle Association instructor or equivalent, in addition to the training required for a concealed handgun permit (clarifies that this is an annual training requirement that must be performed in consultation with the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the private school); the school adopts and maintains written standard operating procedures regarding the carrying of the weapons on school property and distributes them to parents of students on an annual basis; and the person is on the premises of the school. Subdivision (9) permits a person who has a concealed handgun permit and is attending a place of religious worship located on educational property when students are not attending class to carry the handgun while attending worship services, funerals, weddings, christenings, and any other religious functions at the place of religious worship. Includes any building that is regularly used and clearly identifiable as a place for religious worship. Includes going to and from the parking lot of the place of religious worship.
Effective December 1, 2019.
Except as otherwise provided, this act becomes effective July 1, 2019.
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