Senate Bill 30: Community Safety Education Act

 

Senate Bill (SB) 30, also known as The Community Safety Education Act, requires the State Board of Education (SBOE) to adopt rules to include the instruction developed under TEC, §28.012, in one or more courses in the required curriculum for students in grades 9-12. The SBOE adopted a new rule in Title 19 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), §74.39, Requirements for Instruction on Proper Interaction with Peace Officers, that became effective August 27, 2018. This rule requires school districts and charter schools to provide instruction to students in grades 9-12 on proper interaction with peace officers during traffic stops and other in-person encounters. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions   

1. What is Senate Bill (SB) 30, Community Safety Education Act?

SB 30, also known as The Community Safety Education Act, was passed by the 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017. The legislation added Section 28.012, regarding the instruction on interaction with law enforcement, to the Texas Education Code (TEC). The legislation requires the State Board of Education (SBOE) to adopt rules to include the instruction developed under TEC, §28.012, in one or more courses in the required curriculum for students in grades 9-12.

2. What new rule did the SBOE adopt to implement the Community Safety Education Act?

 The SBOE adopted a new rule in Title 19 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), §74.39, Requirements for Instruction on Proper Interaction with Peace Officers, that became effective August 27, 2018.

This rule requires school districts and charter schools to provide instruction to students in grades 9-12 on proper interaction with peace officers during traffic stops and other in-person encounters.

3. What students are required to receive this instruction?

The new requirement applies to any student who enters grade 9 in the 2018-2019 school year and thereafter, not students in grades 10-12 in the 2018-2019 school year.  

4. When and how often are students required to receive this instruction?

The instruction must be provided to each student who enters grade 9 in the 2018-2019 school year and thereafter at least once before graduation from high school.  

5. Must the instruction be provided as part of a social studies course?

 No, this instruction may be provided as a part of any course in grades 9-12. 

6. What content information should be included as part of the instruction on proper interaction with peace officers?

The instructional requirements for proper interaction with peace officers are specified in TAC §74.39. Requirements for Instruction on Proper Interaction with Peace Officers.The instruction must include all of the following information:

  • the role of law enforcement and the duties and responsibilities of peace officers;
  • a person's rights concerning interactions with peace officers;
  • proper behavior for civilians and peace officers during interactions;
  • laws regarding questioning and detention by peace officers, including any law requiring a person to present proof of identity to a peace officer, and the consequences for a person's or officer's failure to comply with those laws; and
  •  how and where to file a complaint against or a compliment on behalf of a peace officer. 

7. What instructional materials should school districts and open-enrollment charter schools use?

 A school district or open-enrollment charter school must use materials developed through a memorandum of understanding among the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the State Board of Education, and the Texas Education Agency. Materials to be used when providing the instruction required by the Community Safety Education Act include a 16-minute video and an instructor’s guide. These materials are available on the Texas Gateway at https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/flashing-lights-senate-bill-30.

8. May school districts or open-enrollment charter schools change or alter the required instruction?

Yes, according to TAC §74.39 (d), school districts or open-enrollment charter schools may tailor instruction as appropriate for the district’s or school's community. In tailoring the instruction, the district or school is required by TEC, §28.012 to solicit input from local law enforcement agencies, driver training schools, and the community. The tailored instruction must cover all the content specified in TAC §74.39 and provided in the video and instructor’s guide on the Texas Gateway.

9. Is it required that a peace officer or a teacher provide the instruction? If a teacher provides the instruction, must a peace officer be present?

There are no specific requirements stated in TAC §74.39 as to who may provide the required instruction on proper interaction with peace officers. However, the teacher of the course in which instruction is provided must have the appropriate credentials required for that course. The presence of a peace officer is not required.

10. What documentation is required to show that a student has completed the required instruction on proper interaction with peace officers?

TAC §74.5(k) requires school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to clearly indicate the completion of the instruction on the student’s academic achievement record (transcript). There is no other required documentation specified in TAC §74.39. To learn more about academic achievement records, please go to: http://tea.texas.gov/Academics/Academic_Achievement_Record/.

 

As a courtesy, a downloadable PDF of these frequently asked questions is provided below.

Senate Bill (SB) 30, Community Safety Education Act (PDF, 116 KB)