House amendments make the following changes to the 3rd edition, as amended.
Amendment #6 amends proposed GS 115C-105.60 by expanding upon the actions that must be taken when an individual is determine to pose a high risk or imminent risk of violence or physical harm to self or others and the threat assessment team recommends that the student be referred for mental health services. Requires that the superintendent or designee notify the student's parent or legal guardian that: (1) the threat assessment team has made such a recommendation; (2) if the student is covered by private insurance or a Medicaid prepaid health plan, then the parent or guardian is encouraged to contact the student's primary care provider or insurance company; (3) if the student is uninsured or is covered by Medicaid and not enrolled in a prepaid health plan, then the parent or guardian is encouraged to contact the local management entity/managed care organization that serves the catchment area where the student resides; and (4) with consent, if the student is uninsured or is covered by Medicaid and not enrolled in a prepaid health plan, then the superintendent or designee must make a referral that includes the parent or guardian's contact information to the local management entity/managed care organization serving the catchment area where the student resides. Makes conforming changes to GS 115C-115.4.
Amendment #7 requires that the training and continuing education standards for school resources officers also include training on racial equity.
Summary date: Mar 7 2019 - View Summary
Summary date: Mar 6 2019 - View Summary
House amendments make the following changes to the 3rd edition.
Amendment #1 modifies the definition of threat set out in proposed GS 115C-105.60 (Threat assessment teams), now defining the term to mean a concerning communication or behavior that indicates that an individual may pose (was, 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.
Amendment #2 modifies the proposed duty of the Center for Safer Schools, set out in GS 115C-105.57, to develop policies for threat assessment teams for public school units in consultation with the previously specified entities. Removes the provision deeming these policies not a public record and not subject to inspection and examination. Instead prohibits the policies from referencing or revealing any information that is excluded as a public records under GS 115C-47(40) (concerning School Risk Management Plans), Part 2 of Article 8C of GS Chapter 115C (Maintaining Safe and Orderly Schools, as enacted), or any other relevant statute. Makes conforming changes to GS 115C-105.60.
Amendment #3 changes the proposed statute number for new GS 143B-931A to GS 143B-931.1 (concerning criminal recording checks for threat assessment teams).
Amendment #4 adds to proposed GS 115C-105.52A concerning facility vulnerability assessments. Grants limited civil immunity to the governing body of a public school unit and its members, employees, designees, agents, or volunteers for any loss or damage caused by any act or omission relating to the participation in or implementation of a facility vulnerability assessment required by the statute. Further specifies that the statute does not impose any specific duty or standard of care.
Summary date: Mar 5 2019 - View Summary
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.
Amends proposed GS 115C-105.70(a) by making clarifying and organizational changes to the duties of a school resources officer. Clarifies that those duties include any additional responsibility related to school safety or security assigned by the officer's employer while the officer is acting as a school resource officer (was, any other responsibility assigned by the public school unit or law enforcement agency that employs the officer).
Amends the act's long title by expanding it to refer to the changes made in the act.
Summary date: Feb 27 2019 - View Summary
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.
Summary date: Feb 13 2019 - View Summary
Part I. Requirements for School Safety for All Public Schools
Adds the term public school unit to GS Chapter 115's defined terms, set out in GS 115C-5, defining the term to include a local school administrative unit, a charter school, a regional school, and a school providing elementary or secondary instruction operated by the State Board of Education (State Board) or UNC.
Codifies the existing statutes of Article 8C of GS Chapter 115C into two Parts. Codifies GS 115C-105.46 (State Board of Education responsibilities), GS 115C-47A (Proposals to establish alternative learning programs or alternative schools), and GS 115C-105.48 (Placement of students in alternative learning schools/alternative learning programs) into Part 1, titled Local Plans for Alternative Schools/Alternative Learning Programs, and the remaining sections of Article 8C into Part 2, Maintaining Safe and Orderly Schools.
Amends GS 115C-105.49(a) and (d), GS 115C-105.49A(b), GS 115C-105.52, GS 115C-105.53(a) and (b), and GS 115C-105.54(a), to refer to "public school unit" rather than "local school administrative unit."
Further amends GS 115C-105.49, adding a new requirement for each public school unit to report the date and time the full school-wide tabletop exercise and drill (drill) is conducted to the Center for Safer Schools (Center).
Further amends GS 115C-105.49A, additionally requiring the Division of Emergency Management (Division) to leverage the schematic diagrams of participating nonpublic schools' facilities in constructing the School Risk and Response Management System (SRRMS) (currently, only includes public school units). Makes conforming changes to GS 115C-105.53(b).
Repeals specified subsections of GS 115C-218.75 (concerning charter schools), GS 115C-238.66 (concerning regional schools), and GS 115C-239.8 (concerning laboratory schools) regarding respective School Risk Management Plans (SRMPs), school safety exercises, and school safety information reported to the Division. Instead, enacts a new subsection to each statute requiring charter schools, regional schools, and laboratory schools to comply with the applicable requirements of Part 2 of Article 8C, as amended. Similarly, makes the same requirements applicable to innovative schools and the North Carolina School of Math and Sciences, adding to GS 115C-75.9 and GS 116-235, respectively. Enacts GS 115C-150.16 and GS 116-69.2, adding the same requirements to schools for students with visual and hearing impairments and the North Carolina School of the Arts, respectively.
Amends GS 115C-551 to more specifically refer to private church schools or schools of religious charter regarding voluntary participation in State programs. Adds a new section encouraging all private church schools and all schools of religious charter to adopt a SRMP in coordination with local law enforcement, provide schematic diagrams and main entrance keys to local law enforcement agencies (in addition to implementing companion provisions in GS 115C-105.52), at least annually hold a full school-wide lockdown exercise, and provide specified safety information to the Division. Amends GS 115C-559 to more specifically refer to qualified nonpublic schools regarding voluntary participation in State programs. Adds a new section encouraging the same school safety protocols as those added to GS 115C-551, above.
Effective July 1, 2019, and applicable beginning with the 2019-20 school year.
Part II. Clarify the Powers and Duties of the Center for Safer Schools
Amends GS 115C-105.57, which establishes the Center and provides for its operation. Current law generally grants the Center all powers and duties provided for in Article 8C of GS Chapter 115C. Enumerates 11 specific duties of the Center, including (1) serving as a resource and referral center for the State in conducting research, sponsoring workshops, and providing information regarding current school safety concerns; (2) providing training and professional development for public school personnel in the development and implementation of initiatives promoting school safety; (3) developing model policies for threat assessment teams for public school units; and (4) coordinating grants for school resource officers in elementary and middle schools and ensuring that training requirements for school resource officers funded by those grants are met. Further amends the statute, explicitly charging the Center with the duty to coordinate, collaborate, and seek necessary information from eight State and local government agencies, enumerated by the statute. Adds a new subsection, requiring the Center to receive guidance and advice from the Task Force for Safer Schools. Makes technical changes.
Part III. Threat Assessment Teams
Enacts GS 115C-105.60 in Article 8C. Sets forth defined terms. Requires public school units to adopt policies for establishing threat assessment teams consistent with the model policies developed by the Center pursuant to GS 115C-105.57(c). Defines threat assessment team to mean a team that includes persons with expertise in counseling, instruction, school administration, and law enforcement that conducts threat assessments in a public school unit. Requires the policies to include procedures for referrals to health care providers for evaluation or treatment, when appropriate. Permits superintendents to establish a committee charged with coordination and monitoring of the threat assessment teams, or charge an existing committee. Mandates that each school in the public school unit have a threat assessment team established by the superintendent. Grants the superintendent discretion in establishing a threat assessment team that can serve more than one school in the unit. Details five duties of threat assessment teams, including conducting threat assessments to determine appropriate actions and intervention based on the level of threat determined by the assessment, ranging from low risk to imminent risk, as described. Sets out the practice for the threat assessment team to immediately notify the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee upon a preliminary determination that an individual poses a high risk or imminent risk threat of violence or physical harm to self or others (as described), and details the required response(s) of the superintendent or the designee upon such report, including immediate attempts to notify the student’s parent or legal guardian. Clarifies that public school personnel are not precluded from acting immediately to address an imminent risk threat. Establishes reporting requirements for each threat assessment team established to the Center. Provides for attainment of health records and criminal records upon a preliminary determination by the threat assessment team that an individual poses an imminent risk. Provides for confidentiality of records obtained, only allowing release in connection with an emergency under the standards of the federal Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act. Directs all public school units to establish threat assessment teams no later than March 1, 2020.
Enacts GS 143B-931A, authorizing the Department of Public Safety to provide criminal record checks to members of a threat assessment team pursuant to GS 115C-105.76. Reiterates confidentiality requirements of threat assessment team members.
Amends GS 115C-47 to require local boards of education to require peer-to-peer student support programs be established at all school with grades six and higher, and encouraging local boards to implement the support programs as appropriate in other grades. Amends GS 115C-316.1 to require school counselors to coordinate and provide training for students in peer-to-peer student support programs that address conflict resolution, general health and wellness, and mentoring. Provides that the Center will support school counselors in the administration and delivery of these support programs.
Applicable beginning with the 2019-20 school year.
Part IV. County Local School Administrative Units State Emergency Plan
Amends GS 115C-47(40), requiring each local board of education to adopt a state of emergency plan for the public school units of the county as part of the SRMP. Requires prior consultation with any other public school units within the county.
Enacts GS 115C-105.50 in Article 8C, requiring county boards of education to implement the state of emergency plan developed pursuant to GS 115C-47(40), as amended, in the event of a countywide state of emergency, as that term is defined by the statute. Mandates compliance with the plan by all public school units within the county.
Applies beginning with the 2019-20 school year. Directs county boards of education to adopt the state of emergency plan by October 1, 2019.
Part V. School Resource Officer Defined/Training Standards/Reports
Enacts GS 115C-105.70, defining a school safety resource officer as a law enforcement officer who is assigned to one or more public schools for at least 20 hours per week to assist with school security, safety, emergency preparedness, emergency response, or any other responsibility assigned by the school or law enforcement agency. Requires school safety resource officers to complete initial training before service and to comply with any continuing training requirements established by the officer’s certifying commission. Directs the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the NC Sheriff’s Education and Training Commission (the Commissions) to collaborate with the Center for Safer Schools to establish initial training and continuing education standards for school safety resource officers. Requires the standards to minimally include training on mental health, students with disabilities, and crisis intervention and de-escalation. Applies to school safety resource officers employed beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
Amends GS 17C-6(a) and GS 17E-4(a), concerning the power of the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the NC Sheriff’s Education and Training Commission, respectively, to make conforming changes authorizing the Commissions to establish initial training and continuing education training standards for school safety resource officers pursuant to new GS 115C-105.70.
Requires the Commissions to collaborate with the Center for Safer Schools and establish the initial training standards for school safety resource officers no later than January 15, 2020.
Enacts GS 115C-105.71, establishing annual reporting requirements for public school units to the Center regarding school resource officers, with the first report due by September 15, 2019. Requires the Center to annually submit to the specified NCGA committee, with the first report by November 15, 2019, an executive summary and aggregation of data for each public school unit regarding the information reported by the units to the Center.
Part VI. School Building Vulnerability Assessment
Enacts GS 115C-105.52A, directing each local school administrative unit to require each school under its control to complete a facility vulnerability assessment for each school building at least once annually. Directs the Center to develop a facility vulnerability assessment tool in collaboration with the Department of Public Instruction, Division of Safe and Healthy Schools Support (Division), to be used by administrative units in their annual assessment. Requires the Center for Safer Schools and the Division to develop the assessment tool by January 15, 2020. Requires each administrative unit to complete a facility vulnerability assessment for each school building before the end of the 2019-20 school year and annually thereafter.
Amends GS 115C-105.49A, as amended in Part 1 of the act, mandating the SRRMS, constructed by the Division, integrate any facility vulnerability assessments as part of an SRMP pursuant to new GS 115C-105.52A where technically feasible.