Safety Law News for May 17, 2017

  • In Florida, the Alachua County Juvenile Justice Council is assessing new approaches to address the high rate of school expulsions associated with drug use, suicide, anger management and mental health issues.
  • In Texas, officials in the Prosper Independent School District, that includes Collin County and Denton County, are implementing a new policy for the annual Prom that will require that students take Breathalyzer tests conducted by school resource officers before entering the event.

Safety Law News for May 11, 2017

  • In Indiana, the United States District Court has upheld the authority of educators to act in-loco-parentis in the school environment.  The parents challenged a provision of the education code that states: “In all matters relating to the discipline and conduct of students, school corporation personnel…stand in the relation of parents to the students of the school corporation.”  [Orr v. Ferebee].
  • In Louisiana, the Court of Appeal of Louisiana upheld the search of a student after a teacher observed what he believed to be a hand-to-hand transaction between the student and another student known to have issues with marijuana.  [State in Interest of K.L.]
  • In Texas, the Court of Appeals of Texas upheld the  search of a group of students by a school resource officer who was responding to an anonymous tip that marijuana use was in progress by a group of students near the school.  The officer’s corroboration of its reliability established reasonable suspicion.  [Matter of V.G.]
  • In Indiana, the Court of Appeals of Indiana ruled that the questioning of a student by a law enforcement officer at the request of an educator does not transform the questioning into a custodial interrogation if the SRO is acting to fulfill an educational purpose.  [B.A. v. State].

Safety Law News for May 3, 2017

  • In Delaware, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency will begin implementation of the Comprehensive School Safety Program.  The program is designed to enhance public safety in all of Delaware’s public schools through emergency preparedness plans and collaboration between schools and local agencies.

Safety Law News for April 25, 2017

  • In Minnesota, officials in the Savage Public Schools are revising their school safety plan.  The new plan eliminates all officers with a new administrative position called the dean of students.  The superintendent believes “ultimately, the focus of a School Resource Officer is law enforcement, while a dean of students is focused on engaging students, parents and families.”  Police will be called as needed in the future.
  • In Arizona, Scottsdale Schools are utilizing a proactive, non-punitive approach to student discipline that tracks student misconduct referrals to identify problem behavior and teach social skills.  The program is called Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) and is used on each campus to combat bullying and harassment.

Safety Law News for April 18, 2017

  • In Massachusetts, the Springfield Public Schools have combined restorative justice principles with the “triad” concept of school-based policing to reduce arrests and suspensions.   Arrests have declined 70 percent over a five-year period.  Suspensions — in school and out of school — have decreased by 44 percent over the same period.
  • In Ohio, the Indian Valley Board of Education gave unanimous approval to a new weapons policy permitting qualifying staff members to possess firearms on school premises.  The schools in the district have identified staff members who will undergo training.
  • In Pennsylvania, the Senate Education Committee will soon vote on Senate Bill 383 that would allow school personnel to carry loaded weapons in public schools.  Under the provisions of the legislation, each school district has discretion to allow employees who have a concealed-carry permit and appropriate training to have access to firearms.
  • In Massachusetts, officials in Hingham utilized a unique approach to revising the school safety Memorandum of Understanding between the police and the school district.  There were several public sessions to discuss the MOU and to solicit input.  The officials worked on the MOU revisions for more than a year.

Safety Law News for April 13, 2017

  • In North Carolina, House Bill 612 would authorize local schools boards to offer a comprehensive firearm education course as a high school elective. The course would be developed by the State Board of Education and would incorporate gun safety education as recommended by law enforcement agencies or a firearms association.