Voices from the Field: PA 3-13 and School Safety

Submitted by Michelle Weaver, Technical Assistance Provider

As each cohort moves through the phases of training, staff should begin to see connections between CT’s SPDG, specifically building behavioral support systems, and the multiple requirements for schools from the legislature. Public Act 11-232, name, provides specific requirements for safe school climate committees. . Public Act13-3, An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety, addresses the format for school safety plans and also updates some requirements for safe school climate committees. Our aim is for schools to see their work on behavior support systems as a viable means for meeting many of the legislative requirements around school climate and school safety.

PA 13-3 provides a model for school districts and school buildings to meet requirements for school security and safety plans. The table below includes details of the law, summarizing the duties of state agencies, Boards, and schools. The Act also revises the duties of the Safe School Climate Committee to include in its data collection disturbing or threatening behavior that does not rise to the level of bullying.

PA 13-3 Sections 86-88
CT Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) and CT State Department of Education (CSDE) Local and Regional Boards – July 2014 and forward Schools – July 2012 and forward
Immediate Duties
  Develop and implement plan for school security and safety at each school, based on the state plan Principal establishes or designates existing committee responsible for safe school climate and addressing issues related to bullying Committee includes 1 parent/guardian* of enrolled student.
January 1, 2014 and forward
Consult with CSDE to develop standards for school security and safety that include:
  1. Involvement of local officials, including
    • CEO of municipality
    • Superintendent of schools
    • Law enforcement
    • Fire
    • Public health
    • Emergency management
    • Emergency medical services
  2. Command center organization structure with described responsibilities
  3. Requirement for school safety committees
  4. Crisis management procedures
  5. Requirement of local public safety authorities to evaluate, score, and provide feedback on crisis response drills
  6. Requirement of annual reports to DESPP on drills
  7. Emergency management procedures
  8. Requirement of board to assess each school’s security and vulnerability biannually and develop related plan
  9. Requirement that each school climate safety committee collect and evaluate disturbing/threatening instances that fall below bullying definition and report them to district coordinator
  10. Requirement that each school’s plan allows for employee orientation and provides violence prevention training
Establish school security and safety committee at each school, with the following members:
  1. Local police officer
  2. Local first responder
  3. Teacher employed at school
  4. Administrator employed at school
  5. Mental health professional
  6. Parent/guardian of enrolled student
  7. Any other person board deems necessary

Parent/guardian excluded from information reported from school safety committee

Committee tasks:
  1. Receive completed reports after investigations of bullying
  2. Identify and address patterns of bullying among students
  3. Implement provisions for collection, evaluation, and reporting of disturbing/threatening behavior that does not meet bullying definition
  4. Review and amend school policies related to bullying
  5. Review safe school climate plan and make recommendations to district safe school climate coordinator
  6. Provide students, staff, and families on bullying issues
  7. Collaborate with the district safe school climate coordinator to collect bullying data
  8. Other related duties as determined by the principal

*Parent/guardian excluded from tasks 1-3

January 1, 2014 and annually
DESPP submits standards and recommendations for legislation to General Assembly Submit reviewed and updated plans to DESPP annually  

Published: February 10, 2015