GRA Relations with Governmental Entities: State and Local Governmental Authorities


The Family Code provides that TSBVI shall promptly investigate all child abuse and neglect allegations stemming from conduct that occurs on campus or in transit involving TSBVI students, employees, volunteers or contractors. [See Policy FFG and Family Code 261.401 et seq.] For allegations of abuse stemming from conduct outside of TSBVI, this policy controls. A school official may not refuse to permit a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) investigator to interview at School a student who is alleged to be a victim of abuse or neglect under Family Code 261. The school official may not condition granting the request on a requirement that TSBVI personnel, such as a counselor, to be present at a student interview conducted at School. School officials or other persons related to the TSBVI must not interfere with an investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect conducted by DFPS. Family Code 261.302; .303; Atty. Gen. Op. DM-476 (1998)

A person who has confidential locating or identifying information regarding a family that is the subject of an CPS investigation under Family Code Chapter 261 shall release that information to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) on request. The release of information to DFPS by a person is not subject to Government Code 552.352 or any other law providing liability for the release of confidential information. Family Code 261.303


On receipt of a report of alleged or suspected child abuse or neglect by a family member or other person not affiliated with TSBVI who is responsible for the child’s care, custody or welfare. Family Code 261.302


“Person responsible for a child’s care, custody or welfare” means a person who traditionally is responsible for a child, including:

  1. A parent, guardian, managing or possessory conservator, or foster parent of the child;
  2. A member of the child’s family or household as defined by Family Code Chapter 71; or
  3. A person with whom the child’s parent cohabits.

Family Code 261.001

Notice to Principal

Prior to conducting an investigation on TSBVI’s campus Child Protective Investigations (CPI) division shall notify the school principal (or the principal’s supervisor n) of the fact that a report has been assigned for investigation, the nature of the allegations contained in the report, and the date and time when the investigator plans to visit the school campus to begin the investigation.

The CPI investigator must request that the school personnel notified of the investigation not alert the alleged perpetrator or others regarding the report until the investigator has first had an opportunity to interview the alleged perpetrator. The CPI investigator must also orally notify the superintendent about the investigation.

Family Code 261.105

Interviews on School Premises

School officials or other persons related to the school setting may not interfere with an investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect conducted by DFPS. Interviews and examinations in an investigation may take place on or off the school premises, as deemed appropriate by the CPI investigator, provided the investigator notifies the appropriate school personnel prior to conducting an interview or visual inspection on school premises. Family Code 261.303


CPI may request that school personnel or volunteers not be present during the interview or visual inspection of an alleged victim, an alleged perpetrator, an adult or child witness, or any other person who may have information relevant to the investigation if the investigator determines that:

  1. The presence of school personnel or volunteers would compromise the integrity of the investigation; or
  2. A better interview or examination of the child would result without school personnel or volunteers being present.

Family Code 261.303

Report of Findings

Notice need not be provided to a school official if a report of abuse or neglect is closed administratively prior to notification to any school official that a report was received by DFPS.


The School shall permit a student to be taken into custody under Family Code Title 3 (Juvenile Justice Code):

  1. Pursuant to an order of the juvenile court.
  2. Pursuant to the laws of arrest.
  3. By a law enforcement officer, if there is probable cause to believe the student has engaged in a criminal violation, delinquent conduct, conduct in need for supervision, or conduct that violates a condition of probation.
  4. By a probation officer if there is probable cause to believe the student has violated a condition of probation or a condition of release.
  5. Pursuant to a directive to apprehend issued by a juvenile court.
  6. By a law enforcement officer, to take the child’s fingerprints or photograph, as set forth at Family Code 58.0021

Family Code 52.01(a), 58.0021

In addition, a student may be taken into custody without a court order:

  1. By an authorized representative of Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), a law enforcement officer, or a juvenile probation officer under the conditions set out in Family Code 262.104, relating to the student’s physical health or safety; or
  2. As otherwise provided by Family Code Chapter 262 (Suit by Governmental Entity to Protect Health and Safety of Child).

Family Code Chapter 262

Before a student at school is arrested or taken into custody by a law enforcement officer or other legally authorized person, the principal shall verify the official’s identity and make a copy of the official’s credentials. To the best of his or her ability, the principal shall verify the official’s authority to take custody of the student and then shall deliver over the student.

The principal shall immediately notify the Superintendent and ordinarily shall notify the parent or other person having lawful control of the student. If the officer or other authorized person raises what the principal considers to be a valid objection to notifying the parent at that time, the principal shall not notify the parent.

[See Policy FO for notification requirements by the campus behavior coordinator under Education Code Chapter 37].


A person taking a child into custody may, if school is in session and the child is a student, bring the child to the campus to which the child is assigned if the principal, the principal’s designee or an Austin police officer assigned to the campus agrees to assume responsibility for the child for the remainder of the school day. Family Code 52.02(a)(7)


When law enforcement officers or other lawful authorities request to question or interview a student at School for any purpose other than a child abuse investigation, the following guidelines shall apply:

  1. The principal shall verify and record the identity of the officer or other authority (make a copy of the badge or I.D.) and request an explanation of the need to question or interview the student at school.
  2. The principal ordinarily shall make reasonable efforts to notify the student’s parent or other person having lawful control of the student. If the interviewer raises what the principal considers to be a valid objection to the notification, the parent shall not be notified.
  3. The principal, or a designee, ordinarily shall be present during the questioning or interview. If the interviewer raises what the principal considers to be a valid objection to a third party’s presence, the interview shall be conducted without that person’s presence.

Adopted:         3/27/92

Amended:       1/29/93, 11/14/97, 5/25/05, 9/29/17, 5/31/19, 8/6/21