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PURPOSE

This policy is to ensure that TSBVI staff shall report in accord with this policy and/or all applicable laws suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation, and improper care of students.   The Family Code designates TSBVI as an investigating agency for incidents alleged to have occurred at the School.  The School shall investigate all reports of suspected abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and reports of suspected improper care that might rise to the level of abuse, neglect or exploitation.  The primary purposes of this policy are to protect students from harm and to ensure compliance with Texas Family Code (TFC) and corresponding state rules and regulations.  Because of our students’ common vulnerabilities, a higher standard of care and reporting is required at TSBVI, which includes reporting suspected “improper child care”.  Family Code 261.003, .401

SCOPE

The law imposes a duty on everyone, from ordinary citizens to relatives, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and religious officers to report suspected child abuse or neglect under penalty of criminal prosecution for the failure to do so.  This policy applies to all situations in which a report regarding possible abuse, neglect, exploitation or improper care of a student is required, regardless of the age of student.

Situations where a student has allegedly acted improperly towards another student shall be dealt with under any applicable law and other TSBVI policies and procedures.   

ANTI-VICTIMIZATION PROGRAM

The School shall provide child abuse anti-victimization programs in elementary and secondary programs.

Education Code 38.004

DEFINITIONS

Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation, And Improper Care

The following definitions apply to the School:

  1. "Abuse" means any intentional, knowing, or reckless act or omission by an employee, volunteer, or other individual working under the auspices of a facility that causes or may cause emotional harm or physical injury, (whether substantial or not), or the death of, a child served by the facility as further described by rule or policy. Abuse includes both physical and sexual abuse.  
  2. "Neglect" means a negligent act or omission by an employee, volunteer, or other person working under the auspices of a facility, including failure to comply with an individual treatment plan, plan of care, or individualized service plan, that causes or may cause substantial emotional harm or physical injury to, or the death of, a child served by the facility as further described by rule or policy.
  3. "Exploitation" means the illegal or improper use of a child or of the resources of a child served by a facility for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain by an employee, volunteer, or other individual working under the auspices of a facility as further described by rule or policy.

Family Code 261.001; Penal Code 21.11

  1. “Improper Care” means any action or omission on the part of an employee, volunteer, or other individual working under the auspices of TSBVI that constitutes a seriously inappropriate action or omission, or a pattern of actions or omissions, which are contrary to school standards.  Improper care adversely affects the student’s overall sense of safety, security, or well-being but does not pose the threat of bodily injury or a substantial risk of immediate harm to the student that would constitute abuse, neglect or exploitation as those terms are defined in Texas Family Code 261.001.  Improper care includes an inappropriate or unapproved verbal or physical method of interacting with or disciplining a student.  Examples include but are not limited to, participating in or knowingly permitting teasing, hazing, bullying, deprivation of food, and all forms of corporal punishment.   

PROCEDURES

The Superintendent shall ensure that procedures are adopted to implement the requirements of this policy.  Family Code 261.401

DUTY TO REPORT

Report of Child Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation

Any TSBVI employee, volunteer or other individual working under the auspices of TSBVI who has cause to believe that the physical, or mental, health, or welfare of a student regardless of age, has been, or may be, adversely affected by abuse, neglect, or exploitation by any person shall immediately report such belief to:

  1. a local, or state, law enforcement authority; or
  2. the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Child Protective Services Division toll free number 1-800-252-5400, on line at https://www.txabusehotline.org; or
  3. the appropriate TSBVI official, as set forth in TSBVI Administrative Procedure “Reporting and Investigating Suspected Student Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation and Improper Care”.  See Reporting Suspected Abuse or Neglect of a Child: Reporting Basics and A Guide for Professionals http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/training/reporting/

Texas Family Code 261.101

Making a report is mandatory.  Texas Family Code 261.103(c)

TSBVI shall immediately notify the appropriate state or local law enforcement agency of any report TSBVI receives, other than a report from a law enforcement agency, that concerns the suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a child or the death of a child from abuse or neglect.  If TSBVI finds evidence indicating that a child may have been abused, neglected, or exploited, TSBVI shall report the evidence to the appropriate law enforcement agency.  If a child appears to need immediate medical attention or is in immediate danger, call 911.

Texas Family Code 261.401(d), 261.402(b)

If a person makes a report of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation by an employee, volunteer or other person working under the auspices of TSBVI to one of the entities listed in numbers 1 through 3 above, that person shall also make an immediate report to TSBVI in the manner specified in TSBVI Administrative Procedure “Reporting and Investigating Suspected Student Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation and Improper Care”.    

Contents of Report - External

A report alleging suspected abuse or neglect while the student was not in the care of TSBVI that is made to the Texas Department of Family or Protective Services Hotline or to a local or state law enforcement agency shall contain, if known, 1) the name and address of the child, 2) the name and address of the person responsible for the care, custody, or welfare of the child, if available, and 3) any other pertinent information concerning the alleged or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation.  Family Code 261.102, .103, .104

Report of Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation or Improper Care - Internal

Any TSBVI employee, volunteer, or other individual working under the auspices of TSBVI having cause to believe that a student of any age has been or may be exploited or the subject of improper care while in the care, custody, or control of the School, shall immediately report such belief to the appropriate TSBVI official, as set forth in TSBVI Administrative Procedure “Reporting and Investigating Suspected Student Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation and Improper Care”.   Family Code 261.401

Psychotropic Drugs and Psychological Testing

An employee may not use or threaten to use the refusal of a parent, guardian, or managing or possessory conservator of any TSBVI student to administer or consent to the administration of a psychotropic drug to the student, or to consent to any other psychiatric or psychological testing or treatment of the student, as the sole basis for making a report of neglect of the student under Subchapter B, Chapter 261, Family Code, unless the employee has cause to believe that the refusal:

  1. Presents a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or bodily injury to the student, or
  2. Has resulted in an observable and material impairment to the growth, development, or functioning of the student.

Education Code 26.0091; Family Code 261.111(a)

Psychotropic drug means a substance that is:

  1. Used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or as a component of a medication; and
  2. Intended to have an altering effect on perception, emotion, or behavior.

Family Code 261.111(a)

PROHIBITION AGAINST DELEGATION

An employee, volunteer, or other individual working under the auspices of TSBVI may not delegate to or rely on another person to make any report required under this policy or TSBVI Administrative Procedure “Reporting and Investigating Suspected Student Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation and Improper Care”.   Family Code 261.101(b)

CONFIDENTIALITY

A report of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect and the identity of the person making the report are confidential and not subject to release under Government Code Chapter 552 (Public Information Act) and may be disclosed only for purposes consistent with federal or state law or under rules adopted by an investigating agency.  Family Code 261.201(a)(1)

Unless waived in writing by the person making the report, the identity of an individual making a report is confidential and may be disclosed only to a law enforcement officer for the purposes of a criminal investigation of the report, or as ordered by a court under accordance with Texas Family Code 261.201.  Family Code 261.101(d)

IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY

A person filing a report in good faith or testifying or otherwise participating in any judicial proceeding arising from a petition, report, or investigation is immune from civil or criminal liability on account of his or her good faith, report, testimony or participation, unless the person acted in bad faith or with a malicious purpose.  Family Code 261.106

The School may not suspend or terminate the employment of, or otherwise discriminate against a professional who makes a good faith report of abuse or neglect.  Family Code 261.110  [See DG]

INVESTIGATIONS BY TSBVI

Conducting Investigations

TSBVI shall make a prompt, thorough investigation of any report that a student has been, or may be, abused, neglected, or exploited, while at the School, or under the care of the School.  The primary purpose of the investigation shall be the protection of the student.

Family Code 261.003; 261.401(b), (d)

Investigative Reports

The School shall:

  1. Prepare and keep on file a complete written report of each investigation conducted by the School.
  2. Compile, maintain, and make available statistics on the incidence of student abuse, neglect, and exploitation investigated in the School.
  3. Report to the appropriate law enforcement agency evidence indicating that a student may have been abused, or neglected, if the School finds such evidence.

Family Code 261.402

Disclosure of Investigative Documents

The reports of alleged, or suspected, abuse, neglect, exploitation, or improper care, the identity of the person making such a report, and the files and reports, records, communications, audio tapes, video tapes and working papers used, or developed in an investigation, or in providing services as a result of

such investigation are confidential, and are not subject to public release under Chapter 552 Government Code.

Family Code 261.201(a); Human Resources Code 48.101

Exception: Release of Information

The Superintendent shall release information as required by Family Code 261.201(b), (b-1) and (c).

The Superintendent may release to the parent of a student, about whom a report of abuse or neglect has been made, information which otherwise would be confidential under Family Code 261.201(a) or Human Resources Code 48.101(b) when:

  1. In the Superintendent's judgment the release of the report is in the best interests of the student; and
  2. The student's parent is not the person reported to have abused or neglected the student.

When information is released under this policy, the following information shall be excised:

  1. The names and any other identifying information about all students, other than the student who was reported to have been abused or neglected;
  2. The name of the person making the report of abuse or neglect; and
  3. The names of all witnesses.

Family Code 261.201(a); Human Resources Code 48.101(b)

COMPLAINT

If the School receives a complaint relating to an investigation conducted by a TSBVI official, the complaint shall be referred to the Superintendent who will place the complaint before the School’s Board of Trustees.

Family Code 261.403(a); Human Resources Code 48.301(e)

EMPLOYEE TRAINING

As part of new employee orientation and annually thereafter, each employee shall receive training in the responsibilities associated with this policy and the implementing procedure.

DISTRIBUTION OF POLICY AND PROCEDURE

Each TSBVI employee shall receive a copy of this policy and its implementing procedure during new employee orientation and at the beginning of each school year, and shall sign a receipt so indicating.    [See DH and DMA] Education Code 38.0041; 19 TAC 61.1051(c)

INFORMATON FOR VOLUNTEERS AND INDIVIDUALS WORKING UNDER TSBVI AUSPICES

Any volunteer or individual working under the auspices of TSBVI shall receive training in the volunteer’s or individual’s reporting requirements under this policy and a copy of the policy prior to providing services to TSBVI and such individuals shall sign a receipt so indicating.    

REQUIRED POSTER

The School shall place a poster of the following specifications in the elementary and secondary instructional buildings in at least one high-traffic, highly and clearly visible public area that is readily accessible to and widely used by students.  The poster must:

  1. Be in a format and language that is clear, simple, and understandable to students;
  2. Be in English and Spanish;
  3. Be 11 x 17 inches or larger;
  4. Be in large print and braille. The braille version can be a separate poster.
  5. Be placed at eye-level to the student for easy viewing; and
  6. Include the following information:
    1. The current toll-free DFPS Abuse Hotline telephone number (in bold print);
    2. Instructions to call 911 for emergencies; and
    3. Directions for accessing the DFPS website (http://www.txabusehotline.org) for more information on reporting abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
    4. Directions for contacting a TSBVI social worker.

Education Code 38.0042; 19 TAC 61.1051(e), (f)

PERIODIC REVIEW

The TSBVI Internal Auditor shall review this policy and the procedures implementing this policy a minimum of once every three years.  Family Code 261.403(b)

BOARD POLICY and ANNUAL REVIEW

The Board adopts and shall annually review this policy for reporting child abuse and neglect.  The policy shall follow the requirements of Texas Family Code Chapter 261.  This policy does not require that school personnel report suspicion of child abuse or neglect to a school administrator before making a report to a local or state law enforcement agency or the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Hotline.  However, it is the policy of the Board that school personnel make an additional report to the School’s appointed Investigating Social Worker if the reporter chooses to make his or her initial report to one of the external agencies.  The sole purpose for this internal reporting requirement is the immediate safety of the student and must not in any way impede a thorough and timely investigation.  19 TAC 61.1051(a)

TSBVI COLLABORATION WITH OTHER STATE OR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

TSBVI shall immediately notify the appropriate state or local law enforcement agency of any report that TSBVI receives, other than a report from a law enforcement agency, that concerns the suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of a child or the death of a child from abuse or neglect.   

Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and law enforcement agencies that receive a report of alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a student when in the care of TSBVI shall notify the School so that it can initiate the required investigation.  A state or local law enforcement agency may choose to conduct the investigation instead of TSBVI when there is reason to suspect criminal conduct has occurred.  Family Code 261.402(b)

Interview of Student

The investigating agency shall be permitted to interview the child at any reasonable time and place, including at the school.  Family Code 261.302(b)

Video or Audiotaping of Student Interview

Any interview of a student as part of an investigation of alleged or suspected physical or sexual abuse shall be recorded by video or audio devices.  The School shall do so in accord with Administrative Procedure P.1.7, “Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation and Improper Care:  Reporting and Investigating Suspected Student Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation and Improper Care.”  Family Code 261

Interference with Investigation

A person may not interfere with the investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect conducted by DFPS.  Family Code 261.303(a)

Confidentiality

A photograph, videotape, audiotape, or other audio or visual recording, depiction, or documentation of a child that is made in the course of an inspection or investigation is confidential, is not subject to release under the Texas Public Information Act, and may be released only as required by state or federal law or rules.  Human Resources Code 42.004

CRIMINAL OFFENSES

Failure to Report Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation

A person commits a class A misdemeanor if the person is required to make a report under Family Code 261.101(a) and knowingly fails to make a report as provided by law.  A professional commits a state jail felony if he or she intended to conceal the abuse or neglect.  Family Code 261.109; Human Resources Code 48.051, 48.052, 48.054

Failure to Report Improper Child Care

Failure to report improper child care violates this Board’s policy.

TSBVI Response to Failure to Report Employee Subject to Disciplinary Action

Any TSBVI employee who does not report a belief of student abuse, neglect, exploitation, or improper child care in accordance with the provisions of this policy and TSBVI Administrative Procedure “Reporting and Investigating Suspected Student Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation and Improper Care” may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Removal from Service of Volunteer or Other Individual

Any TSBVI volunteer or individual working under the auspices of TSBVI who does not report a suspicion of student abuse, neglect, exploitation, or improper child care in accordance with the provisions of this policy may be immediately prohibited from providing further services to TSBVI.

False Report

A person commits an offense if, with the intent to deceive, the person knowingly makes a false report of abuse or neglect.  The offense is a state jail felony, except that it is a felony of the third degree if the person has previously been convicted of the offense.  Family Code 161.107(a)

Coercion

A public servant, including a school administrator, who coerces another into suppressing or failing to report child abuse or neglect to a law enforcement agency commits a class C misdemeanor offense.   Penal Code 39.06

SBEC Disciplinary Action

Failure to report child abuse or neglect violates the Educator's Code of Ethics and may result in sanctions against an educator's certificate, as addressed in 19 TAC Chapter 249.  19 TAC 61.1051(a)(2)(A)

Adopted: 2/9/79

Amended: 11/11/83, 10/25/85, 1/14/88, 6/1/89, 9/27/90, 3/26/93, 11/17/95, 9/25/98, 12/1/00, 11/22/02, 1/30/04, 11/19/04, 11/18/05, 1/26/07, 11/16/07, 11/20/09, 11/19/10, 11/18/11, 1/25/13, 1/31/14, 4/10/15, 4/8/16, 11/18/16, 4/7/17, 9/28/18, 8/9/19

Reviewed:

Sexual abuse of a student by an employee, when there is a connection between the physical sexual activity and the employee's duties and obligations as a school employee, violates a student's constitutional right to bodily integrity. Sexual abuse may include fondling, sexual assault, or sexual intercourse.  U.S. Const. Amend. 14; Doe v. Taylor ISD, 15 F.3d 443 (5th Cir. 1994)

Sexual harassment of students may constitute discrimination on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX.
20 U.S.C. 1681; 34 CFR 106.11; Franklin v. Gwinnett County Schools, 503 U.S. 60 (1992)

SEXUAL HARASSMENT PROHIBITED

The School prohibits sexual harassment and harassment based on a person’s race, color, gender, national origin, disability, or religion. 

Employees shall not tolerate harassment of students and shall make reports as required at REPORTING PROCEDURES, below.

DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual harassment of students is conduct that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it can be said to deprive the victim of access to the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school. Sexual harassment does not include simple acts of teasing and name-calling among school children, however, even when the comments target differences in gender.  Davis v. Monroe County Bd. of Educ., 526 U.S. 629 (1999)

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

By An Employee

Sexual harassment of a student by a School employee includes both welcome and unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; sexually motivated physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct; or other conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

  1. A School employee causes the student to believe that the student must submit to the conduct in order to participate in a school program or activity, or that the employee will make an educational decision based on whether or not the student submits to the conduct; or
  2. The conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it:
    1. Affects the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or otherwise adversely affects the student’s educational opportunities; or
    2. Creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or abusive educational environment.

Romantic or inappropriate social relationships between students and School employees are prohibited. Any sexual relationship between a student and a School employee is always prohibited, even if consensual.

A TSBVI Principal, Residential Director, Director of Human Resources, the Superintendent, or the Superintendent’s designee shall address alleged harassment of students by employees and shall take corrective measures to address the harassment.

By Others

Sexual harassment of a student, including harassment committed by another student under the School’s disciplinary authority, includes unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; or sexually motivated physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct when the conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it:

  1. Affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment;
  2. Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with the student’s academic performance; or
  3. Otherwise adversely affects the student’s educational opportunities.

Examples

Examples of sexual harassment of a student may include, but are not limited to, sexual advances; touching intimate body parts or coercing physical contact that is sexual in nature; jokes or conversations of a sexual nature; and other sexually motivated conduct, communications, or contact.

Necessary or permissible physical contact such as assisting a child by taking the child’s hand, comforting a child with a hug, or other physical contact not reasonably construed as sexual in nature is not sexual harassment.

CORRECTIVE ACTION

A school official who has authority to address alleged harassment by employees on the school’s behalf shall take corrective measures to address the harassment or abuse.

Gebser v. Lago Vista ISD, 118 S.Ct. 1989 524 U.S. 274 (1998); Doe v. Taylor ISD, 15 F.3d 443 (5th Cir. 1994)

RESPONDING TO STUDENT-STUDENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT

The School must reasonably respond to known student-on-student harassment where the harasser is under the School’s disciplinary authority.  Davis v. Monroe County Bd. of Educ., 526 U.S. 629 (1999)

OTHER PROHIBITED HARASSMENT

Prohibited harassment of a student is defined as physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct based on the student’s race, color, gender, national origin, disability, or religion that is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that the conduct:

  1. Affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment;
  2. Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with the student’s academic performance; or
  3. Otherwise adversely affects the student’s educational opportunities.

Examples

Examples of prohibited harassment may include, but are not limited to, offensive or derogatory language directed at another person’s religious beliefs or practices, accent, skin color, or need for accommodation; threatening or intimidating conduct; offensive jokes, name calling, slurs, or rumors; physical aggression or assault; display of graffiti or printed material promoting racial, ethnic, or other negative stereotypes; or other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property.

REPORTING PROCEDURES

Any student who believes that he or she has experienced prohibited harassment should immediately report the alleged acts to a teacher, counselor, principal, or other School employee.

Any School employee who receives notice that a student has or may have experienced prohibited harassment is required to immediately report the alleged acts to an appropriate person designated below.

Any other person who knows or believes that a student has experienced prohibited harassment should immediately report the alleged acts to the appropriate person designated below.

Reports of known or suspected child abuse or neglect shall be made as required by law.

Timely Reporting

Reports of harassment shall be made as soon as possible after the alleged acts. A failure to promptly report alleged harassment may impair the School’s ability to investigate and address the harassment.

Oral or written reports of prohibited harassment shall normally be made to the Principal. A person shall not be required to report harassment to the alleged harasser; nothing in this policy prevents a person from reporting harassment directly to either the Superintendent or the Director of School and Student Services/Title IX Coordinator. 

A report against the Title IX coordinator may be made directly to the Superintendent; a report against the Superintendent may be made directly to the Board.

If there is reason to believe that the behavior might rise to the definition of abuse, an investigation and corrective action shall be done in accord with Policy FFG and Administrative Procedure P.1.7.

NOTIFICATION OF REPORT

Upon receipt of a report of harassment, a principal shall immediately notify the appropriate School official listed above.

NOTICE TO PARENTS

The principal or School official shall promptly notify the parents of any student alleged to have experienced prohibited harassment by a School employee or another adult associated with the School. In cases of student-to-student harassment, the School shall promptly notify the parents of any student alleged to have experienced harassment when the allegations presented, if proven, would constitute sexual harassment or other prohibited harassment as defined by School policy.

CONFIDENTIALITY

To the greatest extent possible, the School shall respect the privacy of the complainant, persons against whom a report is filed, and witnesses. Limited disclosures may be necessary in order to conduct a thorough investigation and comply with applicable law.

INVESTIGATION OF THE REPORT

The School may request, but shall not insist upon, a written report.  If a report is made orally, the School official shall reduce the report to written form.

Upon receipt or notification of a report, the School official shall determine whether the allegations, if proven, would constitute sexual harassment or other prohibited harassment as defined by School policy. If so, the School official shall immediately authorize or undertake an investigation.

If appropriate, the School shall promptly take interim action to prevent harassment during the course of an investigation.

The investigation may be conducted by the School official or a designee or by a third party designated by the School, such as an attorney. When appropriate, the Principal shall be involved in or informed of the investigation.

The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the person making the report, the person against whom the report is filed, and others with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the allegations. The investigation may also include analysis of other information or documents related to the allegations.

The School’s obligation to conduct an investigation is not satisfied by the fact that a criminal or regulatory investigation regarding the same or similar allegations is pending.

CONCLUDING THE INVESTIGATION

Absent extenuating circumstances, the investigation should be completed within ten business days from the date of the report; however, the investigator shall take additional time if necessary to complete a thorough investigation.

The investigator shall prepare a written report of the investigation. The report shall be filed with the School official overseeing the investigation.

SCHOOL ACTION

If the results of an investigation indicate that prohibited harassment occurred, the School shall promptly respond by taking appropriate disciplinary or corrective action reasonably calculated to address the harassment.

The School may take disciplinary action based on the results of an investigation, even if the School concludes that the conduct did not rise to the level of harassment prohibited by law or School policy.

APPEAL

A student, including a complainant, may appeal through TSBVI Policy FNG, beginning at the appropriate level. A complainant shall be informed of his or her right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

RETALIATION PROHIBITED

Retaliation against a student alleged to have experienced harassment, a witness, or another person who makes a report or participates in an investigation is strictly prohibited. A person who makes a good faith report of prohibited harassment shall not suffer retaliation for making the report. A person who intentionally makes a false claim, offers false statements, or refuses to cooperate with a School investigation regarding prohibited harassment is subject to appropriate discipline.

RECORDS RETENTION

Retention of records shall be in accordance with TSBVI Policy FB.   Information regarding this policy shall be distributed annually to School employees and included in the student handbook. Copies of the policy shall be readily available at each campus and the School’s administrative offices.

ACCESS TO POLICY

Information regarding this policy shall be distributed annually to School employees and included in the Parent and Student Handbook.  Copies of the policy shall be readily available in the Principals’ offices. 

Adopted:          1/26/07
Amended:        11/20/15
Reviewed:

PHILOSOPHY

  1. A person's development and understanding of his/her own sexuality relates fundamentally to the person's ability to lead a satisfying life in the areas of personal relationships, work and recreation.
  2. A student's visual disability affects the student's understanding and development of his/her sexuality and the sexuality of others.
  3. Education plays a vital role in the individual's development and understanding of his/her sexuality and in the achievement of sexual responsibility.
  4. For a student with a visual disability, education about sexuality should be designed to help the student develop a positive, comfortable self-image and role identity and to assist the student in achieving positive and satisfactory relationships with others.
  5. Issues related to an individual's development and understanding of his/her sexuality shall be addressed in a positive and nonjudgmental manner.
  6. In all matters related to sexuality, the School shall respect the dignity and privacy of each student, appropriate to the student's age and maturity.
  7. The School shall consider each student's physical, cognitive and emotional development in responding to situations involving sexuality and in providing education in sexuality.
  8. Parents play an important role in the student's development and understanding of his/her sexuality and are encouraged to join with the School to provide information and guidance related to sexuality and sexual conduct.
  9. The School shall comply with all legal requirements related to providing students education and services related to sexuality.

CURRICULUM

The School shall offer a comprehensive curriculum in sexuality designed to promote each student's understanding and acceptance of his/her sexuality and the development of appropriate and responsible sexual conduct.

(See TSBVI Board Policy EHAA.)

SEXUALITY BETWEEN STUDENTS

The Superintendent shall ensure that the scope of permissible and impermissible sexual behavior between students at the School and on the School's campus is clearly defined and communicated to students, parents and employees.

The Instructional Planning Council shall have input into determining the scope of permissible and impermissible sexual behavior between students.

Parent Input

If the sexual behavior permitted between students at the School is different from the expectations of any individual parent for his/her child attending the School, the School shall attempt to respect the parent's direction and limit his/her child's conduct accordingly. The extent to which the parent's direction may be implemented may vary according to available School resources but, in no event, will students be permitted to engage in behavior prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct or other rules.

RESPONSE TO BEHAVIOR

Issues related to an individual's development and understanding of his/her sexuality shall be dealt with in a positive and nonjudgmental manner. The student's age, maturity and functional level will be considered when determining appropriate responses to a student's sexual behavior.

The response to student conduct which is sexually inappropriate and negatively impacts another student or students shall be determined by considering the student's age, cognition, and emotional development and maturity, and whether the student is capable of following the Student Code of Conduct.

Reporting Suspected Abuse

Notwithstanding any statements contained in this policy, any person who has cause to believe that a student's physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person, including by another student, shall immediately make a report in accordance with TSBVI Policy FFG.

Communicating With Parents

The parents of a student shall be informed when there is substantial reason to believe that the student has engaged in impermissible sexual behavior either on or off campus; provided, however, that for a student who is 18 years of age or over and provides the majority of his/her own financial support, the administration may determine whether to inform students' parents based on individual circumstances.

ABSTINENCE

The School encourages sexual abstinence for all students at the School.

PREGNANCY

Informing Parents

Except for students who are 18 years of age or older and provide the majority of their own financial support, if a student becomes pregnant during the school year, the School will ensure that the student's parents are informed of the pregnancy by the student or, if the student does not or will not do so, by the School administration. All students will be encouraged to accept the responsibility for informing their parents themselves.

Responsibility For Medical Costs

The student or the student's parents are responsible for payment of all medical costs related to the student's pregnancy which are beyond the routine services provided by the School through the School Health Center.

CONTRACEPTION

Upon student request, if the student is over 18 years of age and, in the opinion of the School's administration, substantially able to care for his/her physical health and well being, or upon student request with parent approval for all other students, the Superintendent shall ensure that a student receives information, appropriate to the student's age, cognition and maturity, related to contraception.

The Superintendent shall ensure that the School's Health Center distributes medically prescribed contraceptives to a student over 18 years of age or to any other student, upon parent request or student request with parent approval.

UNWANTED PREGNANCY

Upon student request, if the student is over 18 years of age, or upon student request with parent approval for all other students, the Superintendent shall ensure that a student receives information related to the availability of community resources providing information about options related to an unwanted pregnancy. The School shall neither promote nor discourage any particular option in response to an unwanted pregnancy.

The School recognizes that understanding and addressing feelings and decisions related to pregnancy may be addressed during student counseling. The School shall not provide further assistance to a student who has selected an option related to an unwanted pregnancy.

COMMUNICATING EXPECTATIONS TO STAFF MEMBERS

The Superintendent shall ensure that each staff member annually receives a copy of this policy and a clear expectation of the School's expectations in regard to responding to student sexual behavior, including impermissible sexual behavior.

INFORMING PARENTS

Information about this policy shall be included in Parent/Student Handbook.

Adopted: 5/31/90
Amended: 9/26/97, 3/21/03
Reviewed:

CHARITABLE RAFFLES    

The School is not a "qualified nonprofit organization" for purposes of the Charitable Raffle Enabling Act and shall not sponsor or conduct raffles, i.e., award one or more prizes by chance at a single occasion among a pool or group of persons who have paid or promised a thing of value for a ticket that represents a chance to win prize.  Occupations Code 2002.001 et seq; Atty. Gen. Op. JM-1776 (1990) [See also CDC, GE, GKB]

FOOD AND BEVERAGE FUNDRAISERS

Schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program under 42 U.S.C. Section 1751, et seq., or the School Breakfast Program under 42 U.S.C. Section 1773, may sell food and beverages that do not meet nutritional standards outlined in 7 C.F.R. Parts 210 and 220 as part of a fundraiser, during the school day, for up to six days per school year on school campus, provided that no specially exempted fundraiser foods or beverages may be sold in competition with school meals in the food service area during the meal service.  4 TAC 26.2  [See CO and FFA]

Adopted:         3/27/92           

Amended:       11/22/02, 1/25/19

Reviewed:       11/17/95, 11/19/99

Table of Contents

EDUCATION RECORDS

Types of Students

‘Enrolled Student’

An enrolled student is a student referred to TSBVI by a local school district Admission-Review-Dismissal (ARD) Committee who is enrolled and in attendance, and who receives special education services in the School’s regular school year program.

‘Short-Term Program Student’

A Short-Term Program student is a student who participates in the School’s short classes during the TSBVI school year or summer to receive intensive training in the Expanded Core Curriculum and who remains enrolled and receives special education services in the student’s resident school district.

Custodian of Records

The Director of the Center for School Resources (CSR) is custodian of all records for currently enrolled students, for students who have withdrawn or graduated, and for short-term program students. 

EDUCATION RECORDS DEFINED

For the purposes of this policy, the term "education records" mean those records, files, documents, and other materials that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a person acting for such agency or institution.

The term "education records" does not include:

  1. Records that are created or received by TSBVI after an individual is no longer a student in attendance and that are not directly related to the individual’s attendance as a student.
  2. Records made by TSBVI personnel that are kept in the sole possession of the maker, are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to anyone other than a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.
  3. Records on a student who is 18 years of age or older, or who is attending an institution of postsecondary education, that are:
    1. Made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in his or her professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity;
    2. Made, maintained, or used only in connection with treatment of the student; and
    3. Disclosed only to individuals providing the treatment.  For the purpose of this definition, “treatment” does not include remedial educational activities or activities that are part of the program of instruction at the School.
  4. Grades on peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by a teacher.
  5. Routine email generated by School staff, copies of which are not maintained by the School’s Center for School Resources (CSR) as educational records.

20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 CFR 99.3

Screening Records

TSBVI shall maintain records of screening for special senses and communication disorders, spinal screening, and assessment for type 2 diabetes for each enrolled student in the School.  Records shall be open for inspection by the state or local health department.  The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Border Health Office may, directly or through local health departments, enter a school and inspect records relating to assessment for type 2 diabetes.  Individual screening records may be transferred among schools in accordance with provisions below concerning Access by Others.  20 U.S.C. 1232(g); Health and Safety Code 36.006, 37.003;95.004 25 TAC 37.145(b) [See FFAA]

Immunization Records

TSBVI shall maintain an individual immunization record during the period of attendance for each enrolled student.  The records shall be open for inspection at all reasonable times by the Texas Education Agency or by representatives of the local health departments or the Texas Department of State Health Services. The School shall cooperate with local districts in transferring student's immunization records between other schools.  Specific approval from students, parents, or guardians is not required prior to making such record transfers.  Education Code 38.002 (See FFAB)

Medical Records

The parent or guardian of any student is entitled to access to the student's medical records maintained by TSBVI.  On request of a student's parent or guardian, the School shall provide a copy of the student's medical records to the parent or guardian.  The School may not impose a charge that exceeds the amount authorized by Section 552.261 of the Government Code. [See GBAA]  Education Code 38.0095

Privacy Rule for ‘Non-education Records’

To the extent TSBVI is a covered entity under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the School shall comply with the Privacy Rule, 45 CFR Part 164, with respect to protected health information that is not an education record. 45 CFR 160.103, 164.501 [See CRD]

Food Allergy Information

Information regarding a student’s food allergy, regardless of how it is received by TSBVI or the resident school district, shall be retained in the student’s education records but may not be placed in the health record maintained for the student by the School.

Exceptions

If TSBVI receives documentation of a food allergy from a physician, that documentation shall be placed in the health record maintained for the student by the School.

A registered nurse may enter appropriate notes about a student’s possible food allergy in the health record maintained for the student by the School, including a notation that the student’s education records indicate that a parent has notified the School of the student’s possible food allergy.

Education Code 25.0022(d)–(f)

Assessment Instruments

The results of individual student performance on basic skills assessment instruments or other achievement tests administered by TSBVI are confidential and may be made available only to the student, the student's parent or guardian, and to the school personnel (both at TSBVI and the resident school district) directly involved with the student's educational program.  However, overall student performance data shall be aggregated by ethnicity, sex, grade level, and subject area and made available to the public, with appropriate interpretations, at regularly scheduled Board meetings.  The information may not contain the names of individual students or teachers.  Education Code 39.030(b) (See EKB)

Academic Achievement Record (GRADES 9-12)

Following guidelines developed by the Commissioner of Education, TSBVI must use an academic achievement record (transcript) form that includes student demographics, school data, student data, and the record of courses and credits earned.  The academic achievement record (transcript) shall serve as the academic record for each student and must be maintained permanently by the School.  TSBVI must ensure that copies of this record are made available for a student transferring from one district to another.  To ensure appropriate placement of a transfer student, the School must respond promptly to each request for student records from a receiving district.  19 TAC 74. 5(b) [See EI]

Enrollment Records

When a parent or other person with legal control of a student enrolls the student in TSBVI, the parent or other person, or the resident school district that has referred the student to TSBVI for admission, shall furnish to the School all of the following:

  1. The student’s birth certificate, or another document suitable as proof of the student’s identity as defined by the Commissioner in the Student Attendance Accounting Handbook.
  2. A copy of the student’s records from the school the child most recently attended if he or she was previously enrolled in a school in Texas or in another state. 

Education Code 25.002(a)

TSBVI or the resident school district must furnish information under items 1 and 2 not later than the tenth working day after the date the district or TSBVI receives a request for the information.

If a parent or other person with legal control of a student under a court order requests a student’s education records be transferred, the school to which the request is made shall notify the parent or other person as soon as practicable that the parent or other person may request and receive an unofficial copy of the records for delivery in person to the district or to TSBVI.

Education Code 25.002(a-1) [See FD]

ACCESS, DISCLOSURE, AND AMENDMENT

Definitions:

Attendance

Attendance includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Attendance in person or by paper correspondence, videoconference, satellite, internet, or other electronic information and telecommunications technologies for students who are not physically present in the classroom; and
  2. The period during which a person is working under a work-study program.

‘Disclosure’

“Disclosure” means to permit access to or the release, transfer, or other communication of personally identifiable information contained in education records by any means, including oral, written, or electronic means, to any party except the party identified as the party that provided or created the record.

‘Parent’

 “Parent” includes a natural parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or guardian.

‘Personally Identifiable Information’

 “Personally identifiable information” includes, but is not limited to:

  1. The student’s name;
  2. The name of the student’s parent or other family members;
  3. The address of the student or student’s family;
  4. A personal identifier, such as the student’s biometric record, defined as a record of one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual (e.g., fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, voiceprints, DNA sequence, facial characteristics, and handwriting); social security number; or student number;
  5. Other indirect identifiers, such as the student’s date of birth, place of birth, and mother’s maiden name;
  6. Other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty; or
  7. Information requested by a person who the School reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to whom the education record relates.

 ‘Record’

“Record” means any information recorded in any way, including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, film, microfilm, and microfiche.

‘Authorized Representative’

“Authorized representative” means any entity or individual designated by a state or local educational authority or an agency headed by an official listed in 34 C.F.R. 99.31(a)(3) to conduct—with respect to federal- or state-supported education programs—any audit, evaluation, or any compliance or enforcement activity in connection with federal legal requirements that relate to these programs.

‘Education Program’

 “Education program” means any program that is principally engaged in the provision of education, including, but not limited to, early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, postsecondary education, special education, job training, career and technical education, and adult education, and any program that is administered by an educational agency or institution.  34 C.F.R. 99.3

‘Signed and Dated Written Consent’ by ‘Digital Signature’

 A person may sign and date any written consent or other TSBVI required record or authorization by a “digital signature” (that is, a signature in electronic form) that:

  1. Identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic consent; and
  2. Indicates such person’s approval of the information contained in the electronic consent.

The form and/or signature must meet the requirements of the Texas Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 322.001.

34 C.F.R. 99.30(d)

ACCESS TO EDUCATIONAL RECORDS

Access by Parents

Access to the educational records of a student who is, or has been enrolled in the regular school year or has participated in a short term program at the School shall be granted to the parent of the student who is a minor, or who is a dependent for tax purposes. 

34 CFR 99.10, 99.31(a)(8)

The School shall presume that a parent has authority to inspect and review the student's records unless it has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, state statute, or legally binding document that specifically revokes these rights.  A court may order the custodian of records to delete all references in a student's records to the place of residence of either party appointed as conservator before their release to another party appointed as conservator.  34 CFR 99.4; Family Code 153.012, 153.073

A parent is entitled access to all written records concerning the parent's student, including attendance records, test scores, grades, disciplinary records, counseling records, psychological records, applications for admission, health and immunization information, teacher and school counselor evaluations, reports of behavioral patterns, and records relating to assistance provided for learning difficulties, including information collected regarding any intervention strategies used with the student. “Intervention strategy” means a strategy in a multi-tiered system of supports that is above the level of intervention generally used in that system with all children. The term includes response to intervention and other early intervention strategies.

Education Code 26.004

Access by Student

Whenever a student has attained 18 years of age or is attending an institution of postsecondary education, the rights accorded to, and consent required of, parents transfer from the parents to the student. 

Nothing in this section prevents the School from disclosing education records, or personally identifiable information from education records, to a parent without prior written consent of an eligible student if the disclosure meets the conditions in 34 C.F.R. 99.31(a), including if the student is a dependent for tax purposes or in the case of a health or safety emergency.  34 C.F.R 99.5

If material in the education record of a student includes information on another student, only the portion of the material relating to the student whose records were requested may be inspected and reviewed.  34 C.F.R 99.12(a)

ACCESS BY OTHERS

Personally identifiable information in education records shall not be released without the written consent of the student's parents, except to the following:

School Officials

School officials, including teachers, who have legitimate educational interests.   An administrator, nurse, teacher, residential instructor, a related service provider, and a student transportation provider or escort is entitled to access to a student’s educational and medical records maintained by the School when the requester has a legitimate education need for such medical records and, in addition, meets all other reasons set forth in TSBVI policy and administrative procedure.

A contractor, consultant, volunteer or other party to whom TSBVI has outsourced institutional services or functions may be considered a school official under this paragraph provided that the outside party:

  1. Performs an institutional service or function for which the School would otherwise use employees;
  2. Is under the direct control of the School with respect to the use and maintenance of education records; and
  3. Is subject to the requirements of 34 C.F.R. 99.33(a) governing the use and redisclosure of personally identifiable information from education records.

TSBVI must use reasonable methods to ensure that school officials obtain access to only those education records in which they have legitimate educational interests. 

34 C.F.R. 99.31, 99.36; Education Code 38. 009

Officials of Other Schools

Officials of other schools or school systems in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, provided that TSBVI either:

  1. Includes in its policies a statement that notifies the parent or student that it forwards education records on request of the other school to such officials; or
  2. Makes a reasonable attempt to notify the parent (unless the record transfer is initiated by the parent).

In either case, TSBVI shall furnish a copy of the transferred records to the parent if requested and shall give the parent an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the record.

34 C.F.R. 99.34

It is the policy of TSBVI to provide all educational records required by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) to a student’s local school district of residence when requested.   The local school district is responsible for sending all ARD records to the parents.

Authorized Government Representatives

Authorized representatives of the officials or agencies headed by the Comptroller General of the United States, the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities who require access to student, or other, records necessary in connection with the audit and evaluation of federal- or state-supported education programs, or in connection with the enforcement of, or compliance with, federal legal requirements that relate to such programs.  34 CFR 99.35

TSBVI may not refuse to report information concerning a student holding an F, J, or M visa on the basis of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and any regulation implementing FERPA.  The School is authorized and required to report information that would ordinarily be protected by FERPA only to the extent required by 8 U.S.C. 1372, 8 C.F.R. 214.3, (g), or any corresponding regulation.  8 U.S.C. 1372(c)(2); 8 C.F.R. 214.1(h)

Financial Aid Personnel

Personnel involved with a student's application for, or receipt of, financial aid.

Juvenile Justice Officials

State and local officials to whom such information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed by state statute if:

  1. The allowed reporting or disclosure concerns the juvenile justice system and its ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records are released; and
  2. The officials and authorities to whom such information is disclosed certify in writing to TSBVI that the information will not be disclosed to any other party except as provided under state law without the prior written consent of the parent of the student.

The Superintendent or designee shall disclose information contained in a student’s educational records to a juvenile service provider as required by Family Code 58.0051.

Education Code 37.084(a)

Organizations Conducting Studies

Organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, districts for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering, predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction. Such studies must be conducted so that personal identification of students and their parents will not be revealed to persons other than authorized personnel of the organizations conducting the studies who have legitimate interests in the information.

Such information must be destroyed when no longer needed for the original purposes of the studies.

TSBVI must enter into a written agreement with the organization that:

a.  Specifies the purpose, scope, and duration of the study or studies and the information to be disclosed;

b.  Requires the organization to use personally identifiable information from education records only to meet the purpose or purposes of the study as stated in the written agreement;

c.  Requires the organization to conduct the study in a manner that does not permit personal identification of parents and students, as defined in this part, by anyone other than representatives of the organization with legitimate interests; and

d.  Requires the organization to destroy all personally identifiable information when the information is no longer needed for the purposes for which the study was conducted and specifies the time period in which the information must be destroyed.

When TSBVI enters into an agreement with an organization conducting a study, the School may re-disclose personally identifiable information from education records on behalf of educational agencies and institutions that disclosed the information to the School in accordance with the requirements of 34 C.F.R. 99.33(b)

The School is not required to initiate a study or agree with or endorse the conclusions or results of the study.

Accrediting Organizations

Accrediting organizations that require the information for purposes of accreditation.

Health or Safety Emergency

Appropriate persons, including the student’s parents, who, in an emergency, must have such information in order to protect the health or safety of the student or another person.

In making a determination, TSBVI may take into account the totality of the circumstances pertaining to a threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals.  If the School determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety or a student or other individuals, it may disclose information from education records to any person whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.  If, based on the information available at the time of the determination, there is a rational basis for the determination, the United States Department of Education will not substitute its judgment for that of the School in evaluating the circumstances and making its determination.  34 C.F.R. 99.36

Agriculture Secretary

The Secretary of Agriculture, or authorized representative from the Food and Nutrition Service, for the purposes of conducting program monitoring, evaluations, and performance measurements of districts receiving funding or providing benefits of programs authorized under the National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act.  20 U.S.C. 1232g(b)(1)(K)

Child Welfare Agency

1An agency caseworker or other representative of a state or local child welfare agency who has the right to access a student’s case plan when the agency is legally responsible, in accordance with state law, for the care and protection of the student.  Records of the student shall not be disclosed by the agency, except to an individual or entity engaged in addressing the student’s education needs and authorized by the agency to receive the disclosure.  Any subsequent disclosure must be consistent with state laws applicable to protecting the confidentiality of a student’s education records.  20 U.S.C. 1232g(b)(1)(L)

Directory Information

1Any person requesting directory information, after TSBVI has given public notice of that definition.  34 C.F.R., 99.37

20 U.S.C. 1232g(b); 34 C.F.R., 99.31

Written Consent

The parent shall provide a signed and dated written consent (which may be, at the discretion of the Superintendent or his designee(s) by digital signature) before TSBVI discloses personally identifiable information from a student's education records to any individual, agency, or organization other than the parent, the student, or those listed above. Such consent shall specify records to be released, the reason for such release, and to whom the records are to be released. 34 CFR 99.30

Information Collection

U.S. DOE Funded Surveys

No student shall be required, as part of any program funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), to submit to a survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning the following topics without the prior consent of the student (if the student is an adult or emancipated minor), or, in the case of an un-emancipated minor, without the prior written consent of the parent:

  1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parents.
  2. Mental and psychological problems of the student or the student’s family.
  3. Sex behavior and attitudes.
  4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior.
  5. Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom students have close family relationships.
  6. Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers.
  7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent.
  8. Income, other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program   or for receiving financial assistance under such program. 20 U.S.C. 1232h(b)

Funded by Other Sources

Except as provided by 20 U.S.C. 1232h(a) or (b), as a condition of receiving funds from programs funded in whole or in part by the U.S. DOE, TSBVI shall develop and adopt policies, in consultation with parents, pursuant to 20 U.S.C. 1232h(c)(1), and provide for parent notification in accordance with 20 U.S.C. 1232h(c)(2).  20 U.S.C. 1232h(c)(1)–(4)  [See EF]

Subpoenaed Records

TSBVI shall release student records to an entity or persons designated in a subpoena. The School shall not disclose to any person the existence or contents of the subpoena if a court orders the School to refrain from such disclosure. Unless the court or other issuing agency orders the

School to refrain from such disclosure or the order is an ex parte court order obtained by the United States Attorney General (or designee not lower than an Assistant Attorney General) concerning investigations or prosecutions of an offense listed in 18 U.S.C. 2332b(g)(5)(B) or an act of domestic or international terrorism as defined in 18 U.S.C. 2331, TSBVI shall make a reasonable effort to notify the parents and the students of all such subpoenas in advance of compliance, except when a parent is a party to a court proceeding involving child abuse and neglect or dependency matters, and the order is issued in the context of that proceeding.  20 U.S.C. 1232g(b)(1)(J), (b)(2)(B); 34 C.F.R. 99.31(a)(9)

Sex Offenders

TSBVI may disclose personally identifiable information without consent if the disclosure concerns sex offenders and other individuals required to register under section 170101 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. 14071, and the information was provided to the School under 42 U.S.C. 14071 and applicable federal guidelines.  34 C.F.R. 99.31(a)(16)

Request Procedure

Upon request of a properly qualified individual, access to a student’s education record shall be granted within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 45 days.  TSBVI shall respond to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the records.  34 C.F.R. 99.10

No Destruction of Records if Request Outstanding

TSBVI shall not destroy any education records if there is an outstanding request to inspect and review the records.  34 C.F.R. 99.10(e)

De-identified Records

TSBVI, or a party that has received education records or information from education records, may release the records or information without the parent’s written consent after the removal of all personally identifiable information provided that the School or other party has made a reasonable determination that a student’s identity is not personally identifiable, whether through single or multiple releases, and taking into account other reasonably available information.

Education Research

TSBVI, or a party that has received education records or information from education records, may release de-identified student level data from education records for the purpose of education research by attaching a code to each record that may allow the recipient to match information received from the same source, provided that:

  1. The School or other party that releases de-identified data under this section does not disclose any information about how it generates and assigns a record code, or that would allow a recipient to identify a student based on a record code;
  2. The record code is used for no purpose other than identifying a de-identified record for purposes of education research and cannot be used to ascertain personally identifiable information about a student; and
  3. The record code is not based on a student’s social security number or other personal information.

Authenticating Requestors’ Identities

TSBVI must use reasonable methods to identify and authenticate the identity of parents, students, school officials, and any other parties to whom the School discloses personally identifiable information from education records. 34 C.F.R. 99.31(b)–(c)

Transfer Not Permitted

Personal information from student education records shall be transferred to a third party only on the condition that such party will not permit any other party to have access to such information without the written consent of the student's parent. If a third party permits access to information in violation of this policy, TSBVI shall not permit access to information from education records to that third party for a period of not less than five years.  20 U.S.C. 1232g(b)(4)(B); 34 C.F.R. 99.33(a)(1)

TSBVI shall inform a party to whom a disclosure is made of the requirements of 34 C.F.R. 99.33, unless the disclosure is made pursuant to a court order, lawfully issued subpoena, or litigation; the disclosed information is directory information; the disclosure concerns sex offenders; or the disclosure is made to a parent of a student who is not an eligible student or to a student.  34 C.F.R. 99.33(c)–(d)

TSBVI may disclose personally identifiable information with the understanding that the party receiving the information may make further disclosures of the information on behalf of the School if:

  1. The disclosures meet the requirements of 34 C.F.R. 99.31; and
  2. The School has complied with the requirements of 34 C.F.R. 99.32(b) regarding the record of disclosure; or a state or local educational authority or federal official or agency listed re-questing information through a subpoena or ex parte order has complied with the requirements of 34 C.F.R. 99.32(b)(2).  34 C.F.R. 99.33(b)

Record of Access to Student Records

TSBVI shall maintain a record, kept with the education record of each student that indicates all individuals, agencies, or organizations that have requested or obtained access to a student's education records, as well as the names of state and local educational authorities and federal officials and agencies listed in 34 C.F.R. 99.31(a)(3) that may make further disclosures of personally identifiable information from the student’s education records without consent.  TSBVI must obtain a copy of the record of further disclosures maintained by the named authorities, officials, and agencies under 34 C.F.R. 99.32(b)(2) and make it available in response to a parent’s request to review the record.

The record shall not include requests for access by, or access granted to, parents of the student, TSBVI officials or of the student’s local school district, requests accompanied by prior written consent of the parent, requests for directory information, or a party seeking or receiving records in accordance with a subpoena or ex parte order.  34 C.F.R. 99.32(d) [Also see “Access Rights” in “Students with Disabilities” below]

TSBVI must record the following information when it discloses personally identifiable information from education records under the health or safety emergency exception:

  1. The articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals that formed the basis for the disclosure; and
  2. The parties to whom the School disclosed the information.

34 C.F.R. 99.32

The records shall include at least the name of the person or agency that made the request and the legitimate interest the person or agency had in the information. The record will be maintained as long as TSBVI maintains the student's education record. The record of access shall be available only to parents, school officials responsible for custody of the records, and those state, local, and federal officials authorized to audit the operation of the system. 20 U.S.C.A. 1232g(b)(4)(A)

Right to Amend

The parent of a student whose records are covered by this policy may ask TSBVI to amend the student's records if the parent believes it contains information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's right of privacy or other rights.  If the School decides not to amend the education records requested, it shall inform the parent of the decision and the parent’s right to a hearing to challenge the content of the student's education records.

If TSBVI decides to amend the records as a result of the hearing, it shall inform the parent in writing.  If, as a result of the hearing, TSBVI decides not to amend the records, it shall inform the parent of the right to place a statement in the records commenting on the contested information and/or stating why the parent disagrees with the decision of the School.  Any explanation shall be maintained with the contested part of the record for as long as the record is maintained and shall be disclosed whenever the contested portion of the record is disclosed. 34 C.F.R 99.20,-.21

Fees for Copies

No fee shall be charged to search for or to retrieve a student’s education records.  A fee may be charged for copies of education records that are made for the parents or students under this policy provided that the fee does not effectively prevent them from exercising their right to inspect and review those records.  Hardship cases shall be dealt with on an individual basis.  The Superintendent will determine whether to waive the fee for copies on an individual basis.  20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 C.F.R. 99.11; Education Code 26.012

Records of Students with Disabilities

TSBVI shall permit parents to inspect and review education records collected, maintained, or used for purposes of identifying, evaluating, placing, or educating students with disabilities. 34 C.F.R. 300.613(a)

Access Rights

In addition to policies applicable to all student records, the following guidelines shall apply when parents of a student with disabilities request to review or inspect School records relating to the education of their child:

  1. Parents may request that a representative inspect and review the records.  34 C.F.R. 300.613(b)(3)
  2. TSBVI shall comply with a request without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an individualized education program (IEP) or hearing relating to the identification, evaluation, or placement of the student, and in no case longer than 45 days after the request.  34 C.F.R. 300.613(a)
  3. TSBVI shall keep a record of persons obtaining access to these student records (except access by parents and authorized employees of the School and the student’s local district), including name, date of access, and the purpose for which the person is authorized to use the records.  34 C.F.R. 300.614

Record Types and Locations

The Director of the Center for School Resources shall provide parents on request a list of types and locations of education records.  34 C.F.R. 300.616

Parental Consent

Parental consent must be obtained before personally identifiable information is used for any purpose other than meeting a requirement under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or disclosed to anyone other than officials of agencies collecting or using this information.  TSBVI may not release information from these records without parental consent except as provided in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  34 C.F.R. 300.622 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq.

Confidentiality

TSBVI shall protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information in collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction of records.  The Director of the Center for School Resources shall assume responsibility for ensuring confidentiality of personally identifiable information.  All persons collecting or using this information shall receive training or instruction concerning the legal requirements involved in handling these records.  TSBVI shall maintain for public inspection a current listing of the names and positions of employees who may have access to this information.  34 C.F.R. 300.623

Information Destruction

For enrolled students, TSBVI shall inform parents or adult students when personally identifiable information collected, maintained, or used to provide special education and related services is no longer needed to provide educational services to the student.  Such information shall be destroyed at the request of the parents or according to TSBVI’s approved records retention schedule. For enrolled students, a permanent record of the student’s name, address, grades, attendance record, classes attended, grade level completed, and year completed may be maintained without time limitation.   

For all students, the Superintendent may develop an education records retention schedule that meets the law and is approved by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, available from TSBVI.  Notwithstanding the previous sentence, no educational records of any student may be destroyed until after the student has reached the age of eighteen plus five years.

34 C.F.R. 300.624

Annual Notification of Rights

The School shall give parents of enrolled students and adult enrolled students annual notification of their rights under FERPA at the beginning of each school year, or upon enrollment thereafter. Annual notice of this policy will be provided to the parent or adult student in the Parent and Student Handbook. TSBVI may provide this notice by any means that are reasonably likely to inform the parents or adult students of their rights. The School shall effectively notify parents who are disabled and parents of students who have a primary or home language other than English. 20 U.S.C. 1232g(e); 34 CFR 99.7

The parents of Short-Term Program students receive this annual notification of rights from their local school districts.  TSBVI abides by FERPA requirements for all students.

The notice must inform parents or adult students that they have the right to:

Inspect and review the student’s education records;

Seek amendment of the student’s educational records that the parent or adult student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights;

Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that the Act and 34 C.F.R. 99.31 authorize disclosure without consent; and

File with the United States Department of Education a complaint under 34 C.F.R. 99.63 and 99.64 concerning alleged failures by TSBVI to comply with the requirements of the Act and 34 C.F.R. part 99.

The notice must include all of the following:

  1. The procedure for exercising the right to inspect and review education records.
  2. The procedure for requesting amendment of records under 34 C.F.R. 99.20 and objections.
  3. The criteria for determining who constitutes a school official is and what constitutes a legitimate educational interest in accord with the School’s policy and procedures for disclosing education records under 34 C.F.R. 99.31(a)(1).

TSBVI shall provide the following to the parent of each enrolled student, at the beginning of each school year or on enrollment of the student after the beginning of the school year:

A written explanation of the provisions of FERPA regarding the release of directory information about the student; and

Written notice of the right of the parent to object to the release of directory information about the student.

Contents of Notice

The notice must contain:

  1. The following statement in boldface type that is 14-point or larger:

"Certain information about TSBVI students is considered directory information and will be released to anyone who follows the procedures for requesting the information unless the parent or guardian objects to the release of the directory information about this student. If you do not want TSBVI to disclose directory information from your child's education records without your prior written consent, you must notify TSBVI in writing within 10 calendar days from the date of your child’s initial or annual registration.  TSBVI has designated the following information as directory information: student's name, address,  photograph, degrees, honors, and awards received, place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, most recent school  previously attended, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, the weight and height of members of athletic teams, enrollment status, and student identification numbers or identifiers that cannot be used alone to gain access to electronic education records.";

  1. A form, such as a check-off list or similar mechanism, that:
    1. Immediately follows, on the same page or the next page, the required statement; and
    2. Allows a parent to record:
      1. The parent's objection to the release of all directory information.
      2. The parent's objection to the release of a secondary student's name, address, and telephone number to an institution of higher education; and
      3. The parent's consent to the release of one or more specific categories of directory information for a limited school-sponsored purpose if such purpose has been designated by the School and is specifically identified, such as for a student yearbook, or School publication; and

  Directory Information Defined

"Directory information" means information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory information includes the student's name, address, photograph, place of birth, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, honors and awards received, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended.  “Directory information” does not include a student’s:

  1. Social security number; or
  2. Student identification (ID) number, unless:
    1. The student ID number, user ID number, or other unique personal identifier used by a student for purposes of accessing or communicating in electronic systems cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a personal identification number (PIN), password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user; or
    2. The student ID number or other unique personal identifier that is displayed on a student ID badge cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a PIN, password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user.

TSBVI may designate as directory information any or all information defined as directory information by FERPA. Directory information under that Act that is not designated by the School as directory information for the School is excepted from disclosure by the School under Government Code Chapter 552 [See GBA]. Directory information consented to by a parent for use only for a limited school-sponsored purpose, such as for a, student yearbook, or School publication, remains otherwise confidential and may not be released under Government Code 552

Disclosure of Directory Information

The School may release directory information if it has given public notice of:

1.   The types of personally identifiable information that it has designated as directory information.

2.   The right of the parent(s) to refuse to permit the School to designate any, or all, of that information about the student as directory information.

3.   The period of time within which the parent(s) must notify the School in writing that they do not want any or all of those types of information about the student designated as directory information.

In Class

A parent or adult student may not use the right to opt out of directory information disclosures to prevent the School from disclosing (or requiring a student to disclose) the student’s name, identifier, or institutional e-mail address in a class in which the student is enrolled.

Former Students

TSBVI may disclose directory information about former students without satisfying the public notice conditions above.  However, the School must continue to honor any valid request to opt out of the disclosure of directory information made while a student was in attendance unless the student rescinds the opt-out request.

Confirmation of Identity or Records

TSBVI may not disclose or confirm directory information without meeting the written consent requirements in 34 C.F.R. 99.30 if a student’s social security number or other non-directory information is used alone or combined with other data elements to identify or help identify the student or the student’s records.

34 CFR 99.3, .37

Homeless Students

Information about a homeless student’s living situation shall be treated as a student education record, and shall not be deemed to be directory information.

42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(G)

VIDEOTAPES AND RECORDINGS

A TSBVI employee must obtain written consent from a parent before the employee may make or authorize the making of a videotape of a student or record or authorize the recording of a student's voice.

Exceptions

A TSBVI employee is not required to obtain the consent of a student's parent before the employee may make a videotape of a student or authorize the recording of a student's voice if the videotape or voice recording is to be used only for:

  1. The purposes of safety, including the maintenance of order and discipline in common areas of the school or on school buses;
  2. A purpose related to a co-curricular or extracurricular activity;
  3. A purpose related to regular classroom instruction;
  4. Media coverage of the School; or
  5. Teaching parents, professionals, and other service providers, provided no personally identifiable information is revealed other than the video or audio images of the student or students, and that the recordings are not used for financial profit.
  6. None of these exceptions apply to students in foster care because permission must be obtained for all recordings beforehand.

Education Code 26.009 [See EHA, FM, and FO]

Co-curricular or extracurricular activities at the School are public events, and the recordings of these events are not confidential.

Photos, and Electronic Recordings

Photos, video, and audio recordings of a student that meet the definition of educational records shall be maintained by TSBVI according to the same retention schedule as other educational records.

The School may create and share photos and videos of students that are not educational records in order to depict educational plans, teaching strategies, and/or student progress.  These media will be stored by TSBVI temporarily and destroyed when no longer needed.  Annual notice of this policy will be provided to the parent or adult student in the Parent and Student Handbook.  Certain photos and/or videos may be selected and edited to be stored as part of a student’s educational record.  These edited media will be stored according to the approved retention schedule, and parent or adult student will be notified of destruction. Gov’t Code 441.185

  INFORMATION FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT

Oral Notice of Arrest or Referral

Upon receipt of oral notice from the head of a law enforcement agency or designee that the law enforcement agency has arrested a student or referred a student to the juvenile board for a specified offense, the Superintendent shall promptly notify all instructional and support personnel who have responsibility for the student. All personnel shall keep the information received confidential.

Written Notice of Arrest or Referral

Upon subsequent receipt of confidential, written notice of the arrest or referral, a superintendent or designee shall send the information in the confidential notice to a TSBVI employee having direct supervisory responsibility over the student.

Oral Notice of Conviction or Adjudication

Upon receipt of oral notice from a prosecuting attorney of a student’s conviction, deferred prosecution, or adjudication of a specified offense, including a statement as to whether the student is required to register as a sex offender, a superintendent shall, within 24 hours of receiving the notice, or before the next school day, whichever is earlier, notify all instructional and support personnel who have regular contact with the student.

Contents of Notice

Required oral or written notice must include all pertinent details of the offense or conduct, including details of any:

  1. Assaultive behavior or other violence;
  2. Weapons used in the commission of the offense or conduct; or
  3. Weapons possessed during the commission of the offense or conduct.

Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27 (a)-(c), (k)

Information received by the School under this provision shall not be attached to the permanent academic file of the student who is the subject of the report.  The School shall destroy the information at the end of the academic year in which the report was filed.  Education Code 37.017

Duty to Flag Missing Students’ Records

Upon receipt of notification from a law enforcement agency or the missing children and missing persons information clearinghouse that a child who attended or who is enrolled in the School is missing, the School shall flag the child's records and maintain the records in its possession so that on receipt of a request regarding the child, the School will be able to notify law enforcement or the missing children and missing persons information clearinghouse that a request for a flagged record has been made.

Request in Person

When a request for a flagged record is made in person, the School may not advise the requesting party that the request concerns a missing child and shall:

  1. Require the person requesting the flagged record to complete a form stating the person's name, address, telephone number, and relationship to the child for whom a request is made, and the name, address, and birth date of the child;
  2. Obtain a copy of the requesting party's driver's license or other photographic identification, if possible;
  3. If the request is for a birth certificate, inform the requesting party that a copy of a certificate will be sent by mail; and
  4. Immediately notify the appropriate law enforcement agency that a request has been made concerning a flagged record and include a physical description of the requesting party, the identity and address of the requesting party, and a copy of the requesting party's driver's license or other photographic identification.

After providing the information listed above, the School shall mail a copy of the requested record to the requesting party on or after the 21st day after the date of the request.

Request in Writing

When a request for a flagged record is made in writing, the School may not advise the requesting party that the request concerns a missing child and shall immediately notify the appropriate law enforcement agency that a request has been made concerning a flagged record and provide to the law enforcement agency a copy of the written request. After providing the notification, the School shall mail a copy of the requested record to the requesting party on or after the 21st day after the date of the request.

Removal of Flag

On the return of a missing child under 11 years of age, the law enforcement agency shall notify each school that has maintained flagged records for the child that the child is no longer missing. On receipt of this notification, the School shall remove the flag from the records.

When the School has reason to believe that a missing child has been recovered, the School may request confirmation that the missing child has been recovered from the appropriate law enforcement agency or the missing children and missing person’s information clearinghouse. If a response is not received after the 45th day after the date of the request for confirmation, the School may remove the flag from the record and shall inform the law enforcement agency or the missing children and missing person’s information clearinghouse that the flag has been removed.

 Code of Criminal Procedure 63.020-.022

CONFLICTS WITH IDEA OR FERPA, OR BOTH

To the extent that anything herein conflicts with either or both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq., or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. §1232g (jointly called “Acts”) or the regulations adopted pursuant to either or both IDEA or FERPA, those specific Acts shall take precedence.

Adopted:         5/11/79

Amended:       1/11/80, 1/16/81, 9/10/82, 11/11/83, 6/29/84, 5/28/92, 1/29/93, 3/22/96, 9/26/97, 1/24/02, 5/28/03, 11/18/05, 9/25/09, 4/4/14, 6/4/14, 4/8/16, 6/2/17, 8/9/18

Reviewed:      

UIL RULES & SCHOOL POLICIES   

A student enrolled in the School or who participates in an extracurricular activity or a University Interscholastic League (UIL) competition is subject to TSBVI policy and UIL rules regarding participation only when the student is under the direct supervision of an employee of the School or at any other time specified by resolution of the Board.  Education Code 33.081(b)  [See FO regarding additional standards of conduct for extracurricular activities]

ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES

UIL Forms

Each student participating in a UIL extracurricular athletic activity must complete the UIL forms entitled “Pre-participation Physical Evaluation—Medical History” and “Acknowledgement of Rules.”  Each form must be signed by both the student and the student’s parent or guardian.  Education Code 33.203(a)

Notices

Each school that offers an extracurricular athletic activity shall:

  1. Prominently display at its administrative offices the telephone number and electronic mail address that the commissioner of education maintains for reporting violations of Education Code Chapter 33, Subchapter F; and
  2. Provide each student participant and the student’s parent or guardian a copy of the UIL’s parent information manual. The document may be provided in an electronic format unless otherwise requested.

Education Code 33.207(b), .208

Safety Training

Based upon UIL approved training materials, TSBVI will provide training to visually impaired students participating in an extracurricular athletic activity related to:

  1. Recognizing the symptoms of potentially catastrophic injuries, including head and neck injuries, concussions, injuries related to second impact syndrome, asthma attacks, heatstroke, cardiac arrest, and injuries requiring use of a defibrillator; and
  2. The risks of using dietary supplements designed to enhance or marketed as enhancing athletic performance.

The training must be conducted by the UIL or by another organization as determined by the UIL, including the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or a similar organization.

Education Code 33.202(d)-(e)

Records

The Superintendent shall maintain complete and accurate records of the School’s compliance and TSBVI shall make available to the public proof of compliance for each person enrolled in the School who is required to receive safety training.  If the Superintendent finds employees out of compliance with the safety training requirements or the requirements regarding unsafe practices and safety precautions (see below) shall be subject to the range of penalties determined by the UIL.  Education Code 33.206

Unsafe Practices

A coach, trainer, or sponsor for an extracurricular athletic activity may not encourage or permit a student participant to engage in any unreasonably dangerous athletic technique that unnecessarily endangers the health of a student, including using a helmet or any other sports equipment as a weapon.  Education Code 33.204

Safety Precautions

A coach, trainer, or sponsor for an extracurricular athletic activity shall at each athletic practice or competition ensure that:

  1. Each student participant is adequately hydrated;
  2. Any prescribed asthma medication for a student participant is readily available to the student;
  3. Emergency lanes providing access to the practice or competition area are open and clear; and
  4. Heatstroke prevention materials are readily available.

If a student participating in a practice or competition becomes unconscious during the activity, the student may not:

  1. Return to the activity during which the student became unconscious; or
  2. Participate in any extracurricular athletic activity until the student receives written authorization for such participation from a physician.

Education Code 33.205

Concussions

“Interscholastic athletic activity” includes practice and competition, sponsored or sanctioned by a district”, including a home-rule district, or a public school, including any school for which a charter has been granted under Education Code Chapter 12, or the UIL.  Education Code 38.152

“Concussion” means a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain caused by a traumatic physical force or impact to the head or body, which may include temporary or prolonged altered brain function resulting in physical, cognitive, or emotional symptoms or altered sleep patterns, and involve loss of consciousness.  Education Code 38.151(4)

Concussion Oversight Team

The Board shall approve a concussion oversight team that must include at least one physician and, to the greatest extent practicable, each member of the concussion oversight team must have had training in the evaluation, treatment, and oversight of concussions at the time of appointment or approval as a member of the team.  The members also must take a training course at least once every two years and submit proof of timely completion to the Superintendent or designee in accordance with Education Code 38.158.  A school nurse at TSBVI may be a member of the concussion oversight team if requested by the school nurse.  Education Code 38.154, .158

Return-to-Play Protocol

Each concussion oversight team shall establish a return-to-play protocol, based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence, for a student’s return to interscholastic athletics practice or competition following the force or impact believed to have caused a concussion.  Education Code 38.153(b)

Required Annual Form

A student may not participate in an interscholastic athletic activity for a school year until both the student and the student’s parent or guardian or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student have signed a form approved by the UIL for that school year that acknowledges receiving and reading written information that explains concussion prevention, symptoms, treatment, and oversight and that includes guidelines for safely resuming participation in an athletic activity following a concussion.  Education Code 38.155

Removal from Play

A student shall be removed from an interscholastic athletics practice or competition immediately if one of the following persons believes the student might have sustained a concussion during the practice or competition: a coach, a physician; a school nurse; a licensed healthcare professional, as defined by Education Code 38.151(5); a licensed chiropractor; or the student’s parent or guardian or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student.  Education Code 38.156

Return to Play

A student removed from an interscholastic athletics practice or competition under Education Code 38.156 may not be permitted to practice or compete again following the force or impact believed to have caused the concussion until:

  1. The student has been evaluated, using established medical protocols based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence, by a treating physician chosen by the student or the student’s parent or guardian or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student;
  2. The student has successfully completed each requirement of the return-to-play protocol established under Education Code 38.153 necessary for the student to return to play;
  3. The treating physician has provided a written statement indicating that, in the physician’s professional judgment, it is safe for the student to return to play; and
  4. The student and the student’s parent or guardian or another person with legal authority to make medical decisions for the student have acknowledged that the student has completed the requirements of the return-to-play protocol necessary for the student to return to play, have provided the treating physician’s written statement to the person responsible for compliance with the return-to-play protocol and the person who has supervisory responsibilities, and have signed a consent form indicating that the person signing;
    1. Has been informed concerning and consents to the student participating in returning to play in accordance with the return-to-play protocol;
    2. Understands the risks associated with the student returning to play and will comply with any ongoing requirements in the return-to-play protocol;
    3. Consents to the disclosure to appropriate persons, consistent with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-191, of the treating physician’s written statement and, if any, the return-to-play recommendations of the treating physician; and
    4. Understands the immunity provisions under Education Code 38.159.

A coach of an interscholastic athletics team may not authorize a student’s return to play.

The Superintendent or designee shall supervise the person responsible for compliance with the return-to-play protocol.  The person who has supervisory responsibilities may not be a coach of an interscholastic athletics team.

Education Code 38.157

Immunity

These provisions do not:

  1. Waive any immunity from liability of the School or if its officers or employees;
  2. Create any liability for a cause of action against TSBVI or against school officers or employees;
  3. Waive any immunity from liability under Civil Practice and Remedies Code 74.151; or
  4. Create any cause of action or liability for a member of a concussion oversight team arising from the injury or death of a student participating in an interscholastic athletics practice or competition, based on service or participation on the concussion oversight team.

Education Code 38.159

Cardiac Assessment

TSBVI must provide a student who is required under UIL rule or policy to receive a physical examination before being allowed to participate in an athletic activity sponsored or sanctioned by the UIL, information about sudden cardiac arrest and electrocardiogram testing and notification of the option of the student to request the administration of an electrocardiogram, in addition to the physical examination.

A student may request an electrocardiogram from any health-care professional, including a health-care professional provided through the School program, provided that the health-care professional is appropriately licensed in Texas and authorized to administer and interpret electrocardiograms under the health-care professional’s scope of practice, as establish by the health-care professional’s Texas licensing act.

Immunity

These provisions do not create a cause of action or liability or a standard of care, obligation, or duty that provides a basis for a cause of action or liability against a health-care professional described in the provision, the UIL, TSBVI or a school officer or employee for:

  1. The injury or death of a student participating in or practicing for an athletic activity sponsored or sanctioned by the UIL based on or in connection with the administration or interpretation of or reliance on an electrocardiogram; or
  2. The content or distribution of the information required under these provisions or the failure to distribute the required information.

Education Code 33.096

ELIGIBILITY

A student otherwise eligible to participate in an extracurricular activity or a UIL competition is not ineligible because the student is enrolled in a course offered for joint high school and college credit, or in a course offered under a concurrent enrollment program, regardless of the location at which the course is provided.  Education Code 33.087

MILITARY DEPENDENTS

TSBVI shall facilitate the opportunity for transitioning military children’s inclusion in extracurricular activities, regardless of application deadlines, to the extent they are otherwise qualified.  Education Code 162.002 art VI, § B.  [See FDD]

SUSPENSION FROM EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

A student shall be suspended from participation in any extracurricular activity sponsored or sanctioned by the TSBVI or the UIL after a grade evaluation period in which the student received a grade lower than the equivalent of 70 on a scale of 100 in any academic class.

Length of Suspension

A suspension continues for at least three school weeks and is not removed during the school year until the conditions of Reinstatement, described below, are met.  A suspension shall not last beyond the end of a school year.

Grade Evaluation Period

"Grade evaluation period" means:

  1. The six-week grade reporting period; or
  2. The first six weeks of a semester and each grade reporting period thereafter, in the case of a grade reporting period longer than six weeks.

Education Code 33.081(c)

School Week

The school week is defined as beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the first instructional day of the calendar week and ending at the close of instruction on the last instructional day of the calendar week, excluding holidays.  19 TAC 76.1001(b)

Students with Disabilities

In the case of a TSBVI student who has a disability that significantly interferes with the student's ability to meet regular academic standards, suspension must be based on the student's failure to meet the requirements of the student's individualized education program (IEP).  The determination of whether the disability substantially interferes with the student's ability to meet the requirements of the student's IEP must be made by the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee.  Education Code 33.081(e)

Practice or Rehearsal

A student suspended under Education Code 33.081 may practice or rehearse with other students for an extracurricular activity but may not participate in a competition or other public performance.  Education Code 33.081(f)

Reinstatement

Until the suspension is removed or the school year ends, TSBVI shall review the grades of a student at the end of each three-week period following the date on which the suspension began.  At the time of a review, the suspension is removed if the student's grade in each class, other than an identified honors or advanced class, is equal to or greater than the equivalent of 70 on a scale of 100.  The principal and each of the student's teachers shall make the determination concerning the student's grades.  Education Code 33.081(d)

ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION

The State Board of Education (SBOE) by rule shall limit participation in and practice for extracurricular activities during the school day and the school week.  The TSBVI Board may adopt a policy establishing the number of times a student who is otherwise eligible to participate in an extracurricular activity sponsored or sanctioned by TSBVI, UIL, or an organization sanctioned by Board resolution.  This policy permits a student to be absent from class at least ten times during the school year, and the policy prevails over any conflicting policy adopted by the State Board of Education.  Education Code 33.081(a), .0811

SBOE Rules

The following provisions apply to any UIL activity: 

Other organizations requiring student participation that causes a student to miss a class may request sanction from the Board.  If sanctioned by resolution of the Board, student participation in the organization's activities shall be subject to all provisions of statute and to Texas Administration Code 76.1001.  If the Board does not grant sanction, any absences incurred by a student while participating with that organization's activities shall be subject to the attendance provisions of the Education Code.  19 TAC 76.1001(f) [See FEB]

Extracurricular Activities

An extracurricular activity is an activity sponsored by the UIL, the Board, or an organization sanctioned by Board resolution.  The activity is not necessarily directly related to instruction of the essential knowledge and skills, but may have an indirect relation to some areas of the curriculum. 

Extracurricular activities include public performances (except as described below), contests, demonstrations, displays, and club activities.  In addition, an activity is subject to this policy if any one of the following criteria applies:

  1. The activity is competitive;
  2. The activity is held in conjunction with another activity that is considered extracurricular;
  3. The activity is held off-campus, except in a case in which adequate facilities do not exist on campus;
  4. The general public is invited; or
  5. An admission is charged.

Exception – Public Performances

A student ineligible to participate in an extracurricular activity, but who is enrolled in a state-approved course that requires demonstration of the mastery of the essential knowledge and skills in a public performance, may participate in the performance if:

  1. The performance is one to which the general public is invited; and
  2. The requirement for student participation in public is stated in the essential knowledge and skills of the course.

19 TAC 76.1001(a)

State-Approved Music Courses

A student ineligible to participate in an extracurricular activity, but who is enrolled in a state-approved music course that participates in UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Evaluation, may perform with the ensemble during the UIL evaluation performance.  19 TAC 76.1001(a)

Limits on Participation and Practice

During the School Week

Limitations on practice, rehearsal, and student participation during the school week shall be as follows:

  1. For any given extracurricular activity, a student may not participate in more than one activity per school week, excluding holidays, except as provided in item 2, below;
  2. A student may also participate in a tournament or post-district contest, as well as a contest postponed by weather or public disaster that may determine advancement to a post-district level of competition;
  3. For each extracurricular activity, TSBVI must limit students to a maximum of eight hours of practice and rehearsal outside the school day per school week.
  4. The Commissioner recommends to avoid scheduling extracurricular activities or public performances on the day or evening immediately preceding the day on which the statewide student assessment program is scheduled for grades 3-11.

19 TAC 76.1001(d); Education Code 33.081(a)

During the School Day

Limitations on practice and rehearsal during the school day shall be as follows:

  1. TSBVI must limit a student to one period of practice during the regularly scheduled school day for practice of extracurricular activities, such as athletics, drill team, or cheerleading.
  2. The limit in item 1 does not prohibit a student from enrolling in any state-approved class. A student who is enrolled in a state-approved class that includes essential knowledge and skills that relate to the preparation for an extracurricular activity may practice that extracurricular activity for no more than one period during the school day. 
  3. A student may not be permitted to miss a scheduled academic class to practice for an unrelated extracurricular activity.
  4. The School must limit extracurricular practice during the school day to ensure that class periods for extracurricular practice do not exceed the time allotted for other class periods.
  5. Regardless of the schedule type in place (traditional or nontraditional), the School may elect to practice extracurricular activities daily, provided the total minutes allowed for the extracurricular practice is not greater than 300 minutes during the school week.

19 TAC 76.1001(e); Education Code 33.081(a)

Record of Absences

TSBVI shall maintain an accurate record of extracurricular absences for each student in the School each school year.  19 TAC 76.1001(c)

PARENTAL NOTICE AND CONSENT

A parent is entitled to full information regarding the school activities of a parent's child except as provided by Education Code 38.004 (regarding child abuse investigations).  Education Code 26.008(a)

Anonymous Evaluations

TSBVI does not allow anonymous evaluations of students because that would violate Education Code 26.001(a) and 26.008(a).  Anonymous evaluations of a student that determine whether the student may participate in a school-related program do not provide full information about the student’s school activities.  TSBVI may by policy establish the parameters for parental contact with evaluating teachers, taking into account the type of evaluation, the information elicited in the evaluation, and scheduling and workload requirements of the teachers.  Byard v. Clear Creek ISD. Comm’r of Educ. Decision No. 020-R5-1001 (June 17, 2002)

Videotaping and Recording

A School employee is not required to obtain the consent of a child's parent before the employee may videotape the child or record the child's voice if the videotape or recording is to be used only for a purpose related to a co-curricular or extracurricular activity.  Education Code 26.009(b)(2)

DISCRIMINATORY CLUB

An extracurricular activity sponsored or sanctioned by the School, including an athletic event or an athletic team practice, shall not take place at an athletic club located in the United States that denies any person full and equal enjoyment of equipment or facilities provided by the athletic club because of the person's race, color, religion, creed, national origin, or sex.

"Athletic club" means an entity that provides sports or exercise equipment or facilities to its customers or members or to the guests of its customers or members.

Education Code 33.082

Special Olympics Recognition

If TSBVI allows high school students to earn a letter for academic, athletic, or extracurricular achievements, the School must allow high school students to earn a letter on the basis of a student’s participation in a Special Olympics event.  Education Code 33.093

Adopted:         9/21/84

Amended:       7/12/85, 10/25/85, 11/30/90, 9/25/92, 3/22/96, 5/25/05, 8/9/19, 1/31/20

Reviewed:       11/19/99

CONTROL OVER STYLE AND CONTENT OF SPEECH

The School's educators shall exercise editorial control over style and content of student speech in school-sponsored expressive activities so long as their actions are reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns.

The School may refuse to disseminate or sponsor student speech that:

  1. Would substantially interfere with the work of the School.
  2. Impinges on the rights of other students.
  3. Is vulgar or profane.
  4. Might reasonably be perceived to advocate drug or alcohol use, irresponsible sex, or conduct otherwise inconsistent with the shared values of a civilized social order.
  5. Is inappropriate for the level of maturity of the readers.
  6. Does not meet the standards of the educators who supervise the production of the publication.
  7. Associates the school with any position other than neutrality on matters of political controversy.

Hazelwood Sch. Dist. v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260, 108 S. Ct. 562 (1988)

Adopted: 7/13/79

Amended: 9/10/82, 11/17/95, 3/26/04

Reviewed: 11/19/99


FUNCTIONS

The Board believes that student government organizations serve an important function in the total educational program of the School, as well as in the general emotional, social, and intellectual development of the individual students who participate in such organizations. Student government affords students the opportunity to participate in the formation of general school policies and to discuss matters of student concern, and it also provides students with experience in participating in the democratic process.

SCOPE OF ACTIVITY

Student government organizations may make recommendations for the general operation of the School and policy matters for the School; they shall not, however, actually prescribe regulations and rules for the operation of the School.

SUPERVISION

All such organizations shall be under the direct supervision of a faculty adviser and the principal.

Adopted: 4/7/78
Amended: 11/17/95
Reviewed: 5/25/05

School officials shall not direct the performance of a formal religious exercise at promotional and graduation ceremonies. Lee et al. v. Weisman, 112 S.Ct. 2649 (1992) (addressing prayer by clergy at graduation)

The Board permits the graduating senior class, with the advice and counsel of the senior class sponsor, to elect to choose student volunteers to deliver nonsectarian, nonproselytizing invocations and benedictions for the purpose of solemnizing their graduation ceremonies. Jones v. Clear Creek ISD, 977 F.2d 963 (5th Cir. 1992), cert. denied; 113 S.Ct. 2950 (1993)

EARLY GRADUATES

A parent is entitled to have a child who graduates earlier than the child would normally graduate participate in graduation ceremonies at the time the child graduates, if the child completes each course required for graduation. Education Code 26.003(a)(3)(C),(4) See EIF

Adopted: 1/29/93

Amended: 9/29/95, 3/26/04

FIRST AMENDMENT

The School shall take no action respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Board for a redress of grievances. U.S. Const. Amend. I

Freedom of Speech

Students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. At school and school events, students have First Amendment rights, applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment.

Student expression that is protected by the First Amendment may not be prohibited absent a showing that the expression will materially and substantially interfere with the operation of the School or the rights of others.

Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 89 S. Ct. 733 (1969) [See also FNCI]

The inculcation of fundamental values necessary to the maintenance of a democratic society is part of the work of the School. The First Amendment does not prevent school officials from determining that particular student expression is vulgar and lewd, and therefore contrary to the school's basic educational mission. Bethel Sch. Dist. No. 403 v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675, 106 S. Ct. 3159 (1986)

Prayer at school activities

A TSBVI student has an absolute right to individually, voluntarily, and silently pray or meditate in school in a manner that does not disrupt the instructional or other activities of the School. A TSBVI student shall not be required, encouraged, or coerced to engage in or refrain from such prayer or meditation during any school activity. Education Code 25.901

Nothing in the Constitution as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court prohibits any TSBVI school student from voluntarily praying at any time before, during, or after the schoolday. But the religious liberty protected by the Constitution is abridged when a district affirmatively sponsors the particular religious practice of prayer.

The School shall not adopt a policy that establishes an improper majoritarian election on religion and has the purpose and creates the perception of encouraging the delivery of prayer at a series of important school events.

Santa Fe Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290, 120 S. Ct. 2266 (2000)

Federal funds

As a condition of receiving certain federal funds, the School shall certify in writing to TEA that no School policy prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in the School, as detailed in the guidance from the United States secretary of education regarding constitutionally protected prayer. The certification shall be provided by October 1 of each year.

By November 1 of each year, TEA shall report to the secretary a list of districts that have not filed the certification or against which complaints have been made to TEA that the district is not in compliance with the paragraph above. The secretary may issue and secure compliance with rules or orders with respect to a district that fails to certify, or is found to have certified in bad faith, that no policy of the district prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in public schools.

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 Sec. 9524, Pub. L. No. 107-110, 115 Stat. 1980-81 (2002) (to be codified at 20 U.S.C. 7904)

PATRIOTIC OBSERVANCES

The School may officially encourage students to express love for the United States by reciting historical documents or singing official anthems that contain religious references; such patriotic or ceremonial occasions do not constitute a school-sponsored religious exercise. Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 82 S. Ct. 1261 (1962)

The School shall not, however, compel students to participate in patriotic observances. West Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 63 S. Ct. 1178 (1943) (holding unconstitutional a requirement that students salute the United States flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance)

Adopted: 11/13/81

Amended: 5/30/86, 11/17/95, 5/25/04

Reviewed: 11/19/99