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PUBLIC SERVANTS

All School employees are "public servants" and therefore subject to Title VIII of the Penal Code, regarding offenses against public administration, including bribery and corrupt influence (Chapter 36), perjury and other falsification (Chapter 37), obstructing governmental operation (Chapter 38), and abuse of office (Chapter 39). Penal Code 1.07(41), Title VIII [See DBD and BBFA]

DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION

In compliance with Workers' Compensation Commission rules, the School shall provide a written copy of the local drug abuse policy to each employee:

  1. On or before the first day of employment; or
  2. Within 30 days after the date the local policy is adopted by the board.

28 TAC 169.1(b)

TOBACCO USE PROHIBITED

The board shall prohibit smoking, using tobacco products, or using e-cigarettes at a school-related or school-sanctioned activity on or off school property.

Enforcement

The board shall ensure that School personnel enforce the policies at a school-related or school-sanctioned event on or off school property.

Education Code 38.006(1)(3)[See also FNCD and GKA]

DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

Except as provided at Education Code 38.011(b), a School employee may not:

  1. Knowingly sell, market, or distribute a dietary supplement that contains performance-enhancing compounds to a primary or secondary education student with whom the employee has contact as part of the employee's duties; or
  2. Knowingly endorse or suggest the ingestion, intranasal application, or inhalation of a dietary supplement that contains performance-enhancing compounds by a primary or secondary student with whom the employee has contact as part of the employee's duties.

An employee who violates items 1 or 2, above, commits a Class C misdemeanor offense.

Education Code 38.011

IMMUNITY FROM INDIVIDUAL LIABILITY

The statutory immunity detailed below is in addition to and does not preempt the common law doctrine of official and governmental immunity.
Education Code 22.051(b)

“Professional Employees”

A professional employee of a school district is not personally liable for any act that is incident to or within the scope of the duties of the employee's position of employment and that involve the exercise of judgment or discretion, except in circumstances where, in disciplining a student, the employee uses excessive force or his or her negligence results in bodily injury to the student.

"Professional employee of a school district" includes a superintendent; principal; teacher, including a substitute teacher or a teacher employed by a company that contracts with a school district to provide the teacher's services to the district; a supervisor; social worker; counselor; nurse; teacher's aide; a student in an education preparation program participating in a field experience or internship; a DPS-certified school bus driver, and any other person whose employment requires certification and the exercise of discretion.

TSBVI  Employees

In addition to any other federal and state statutes limiting the liability of employees at the School, Sections 22.0511, 22.0512, 22.052, and 22.053, respectively, apply to professional employees and volunteers of the school.

Education Code 30.024(c)

Motor Vehicle Exception

Education Code Section 22.0511 does not apply to the operation, use, or maintenance of any motor vehicle.
Education Code 22.0511(a)-(b),22.051; Hopkins v. Spring ISD, 756 S.W.2d 617 (Tex. 1987); Barr v. Bernhard, 562 S.W.2d 844 (Tex. 1978)

“Individuals”

In addition to the immunity described above [at PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES], and under other provisions of state law, an individual is entitled to any immunity and any other protections afforded under the Paul D. Coverdell Teacher Protection Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. Section 6731 et seq.), as amended. [See TEACHERS, below] Nothing in Education Code 22.0511(c) shall be construed to limit or abridge any immunity or protection afforded an individual under state law. Education Code 22.0511(c)

“Teachers” (The Paul T. Coverdell Teacher Protection Act of 2001)

Except as provided in 20 U.S.C. Section 6736(b), no "teacher" in a school shall be liable for harm caused by an act or omission of the teacher on behalf of the school if:

  1. The teacher was acting within the scope of the teacher's employment or responsibilities to a school or governmental entity;
  2. The actions of the teacher were carried out in conformity with federal, state, and local laws (including rules and regulations) in furtherance of efforts to control, discipline, expel, or suspend a student or maintain order or control in the classroom or school;
  3. If appropriate or required, the teacher was properly licensed, certified, or authorized by the appropriate authorities for the activities or practice involved in the state in which the harm occurred, where the activities were or practice was undertaken within the scope of the teacher's responsibilities;
  4. The harm was not caused by willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the individual harmed by the teacher; and
  5. The harm was not caused by the teacher operating a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or other vehicle for which the state requires the operator or the owner of the vehicle, craft, or vessel to:
    1. Possess an operator's license; or
    2. Maintain insurance.

"Teacher" means:

  1. A teacher, instructor, principal, or administrator;
  2. Another educational professional who works in a school;
  3. An individual member of a school board (as distinct from the board); or
  4. A professional or nonprofessional employee who works in a school, and:
    1. In the employee's job, maintains discipline or ensures safety; or
    2. In an emergency, is called on to maintain discipline or ensure safety.

20 U.S.C. Section 6733, 6736(a)

REPORT OF DRUG OFFENSES

A teacher, administrator, or other School employee is not liable in civil damages for reporting to a school administrator or governmental authority, in the exercise of professional judgment within the scope of the teacher's, administrator's, or employee's duties, a student whom the teacher suspects of using, passing, or selling, on school property any of the following substances:

  1. Marijuana or a controlled substance, as defined by the Texas Controlled Substances Act.
  2. A dangerous drug, as defined by the Texas Dangerous Drug Act.
  3. An abusable glue or aerosol paint, as defined by Health and Safety Code Chapter 485, or a volatile chemical, if the substance is used or sold for the purpose of inhaling its fumes or vapors.
  4. An alcoholic beverage, as defined by Section 1.04, Alcoholic Beverage Code.

Education Code 37.016

REPORT TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT

The Principal or person designated by the Principal is not liable in civil damages for making a good faith report, as required by law [see GRA] to the Austin Police Department when the Principal has reasonable grounds to believe that any of the following activities occur in school, on school property, or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property, without regard to whether the activity is investigated by school security officers:

  1. Conduct that may constitute an offense listed in Section 508.149, Government Code; deadly conduct, as described by Penal Code 22.05; or a terroristic threat, as described by Penal Code 22.07.
  2. The use, sale, or possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, or marijuana, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code.
  3. The possession of any of the weapons or devices listed in Penal Code 46.01(1)-(14) or (16) [see FNCG].
  4. Conduct that may constitute a criminal offense under Penal Code 71.02, Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.
  5. Conduct that may constitute a criminal offense for which a student may be expelled under Section 37.007(a), (d), or (e).

Education Code 37.015

REPORT TO SBEC OF EDUCATOR MISCONDUCT

The Superintendent shall promptly notify in writing the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) by filing a report with SBEC not later than the seventh day after the superintendent first learns about a criminal record or an alleged incident of misconduct, as described at DF, involving a certified educator.

Education Code 21.006; 19 TAC 249.14

Adopted:          3/7/80
Amended:         11/13/81, 9/10/82, 9/9/83, 7/17/87, 11/12/87, 1/26/90, 5/30/91, 1/29/93, 5/26/94, 9/29/95, 1/26/96, 9/24/99, 1/31/03, 3/26/04, 1/28/05, 5/25/05, 1/31/14
Reviewed: