December 17, 2012
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
Subject: Review of Emergency Operation Plans
In light of the tragic elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, December 14, 2012, it is imperative that we ensure the continued safety of all Texas students. Consequently, at the recommendation of Governor Rick Perry, I am directing public schools to immediately review district emergency operation plans.
Texas Education Code, §37.108 requires each school district to adopt and implement a multi-hazard emergency operations plan for use in the district's facilities. The plan must address mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery and must provide for:
(1) district employee training in responding to an emergency;
(2) mandatory school drills and exercises to prepare district students and employees for responding to an emergency;
(3) measures to ensure coordination with the Department of State Health Services and local emergency management agencies, law enforcement, health departments, and fire departments in the event of an emergency; and
(4) the implementation of a safety and security audit
At least once every three years, each school district must conduct a safety and security audit of the district's facilities and certify to the Texas School Safety Center its completion. To the extent possible, a district must follow safety and security audit procedures developed by the Texas School Safety Center or a comparable public or private entity.
In addition to resources available through the Texas School Safety Center (TSSC) at http://www.txssc.txstate.edu/, the attached list includes resources for emergency management and preparedness for school safety.
If you have questions regarding emergency operation plan requirements, please contact Barney Fudge, Statewide Coordinator for Health and Safety in the Curriculum Division by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (512) 463-9581.
Michael L. Williams
Commissioner of Education