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Jenna’s Law

S.B. No. 471

AN ACT

relating to public school, child-placing agency, and day-care center policies addressing sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Subsection (a), Section 11.252, Education Code, is amended to read as follows:

(a) Each school district shall have a district improvement plan that is developed, evaluated, and revised annually, in accordance with district policy, by the superintendent with the assistance of the district-level committee established under Section 11.251. The purpose of the district improvement plan is to guide district and campus staff in the improvement of student performance for all student groups in order to attain state standards in respect to the student achievement indicators adopted under Section 39.053. The district improvement plan must include provisions for:

(1) a comprehensive needs assessment addressing district student performance on the student achievement indicators, and other appropriate measures of performance, that are disaggregated by all student groups served by the district, including categories of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sex, and populations served by special programs, including students in special education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29;

(2) measurable district performance objectives for all appropriate student achievement indicators for all student populations, including students in special education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, and other measures of student performance that may be identified through the comprehensive needs assessment;

(3) strategies for improvement of student performance that include:

(A) instructional methods for addressing the needs of student groups not achieving their full potential;

(B) methods for addressing the needs of students for special programs, such as suicide prevention, conflict resolution, violence prevention, or dyslexia treatment programs;

(C) dropout reduction;

(D) integration of technology in instructional and administrative programs;

(E) discipline management;

(F) staff development for professional staff of the district;

(G) career education to assist students in developing the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary for a broad range of career opportunities; and

(H) accelerated education;

(4) strategies for providing to middle school, junior high school, and high school students, those students’ teachers and counselors, and those students’ parents information about:

(A) higher education admissions and financial aid opportunities;

(B) the TEXAS grant program and the Teach for Texas grant program established under Chapter 56;

(C) the need for students to make informed curriculum choices to be prepared for success beyond high school; and

(D) sources of information on higher education admissions and financial aid;

(5) resources needed to implement identified strategies;

(6) staff responsible for ensuring the accomplishment of each strategy;

(7) timelines for ongoing monitoring of the implementation of each improvement strategy; [and]

(8) formative evaluation criteria for determining periodically whether strategies are resulting in intended improvement of student performance; and

(9) the policy under Section 38.0041 addressing sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children.

SECTION 2. Section 38.0041, Education Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 38.0041. POLICIES ADDRESSING SEXUAL ABUSE AND OTHER MALTREATMENT OF CHILDREN. (a) Each school district and open-enrollment charter school shall adopt and implement a policy addressing sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children, to be included in the district improvement plan under Section 11.252 and any informational handbook provided to students and parents.

(b) A policy required by this section must address:

(1) methods for increasing staff [teacher], student, and parent awareness of issues regarding sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children, including prevention techniques and knowledge of likely warning signs indicating that a child may be a victim of sexual abuse or other maltreatment, using resources developed by the agency under Section 38.004;

(2) actions that a child who is a victim of sexual abuse or other maltreatment should take to obtain assistance and intervention; and

(3) available counseling options for students affected by sexual abuse or other maltreatment.

(c) The methods under Subsection (b)(1) for increasing awareness of issues regarding sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children must include training, as provided by this subsection, concerning prevention techniques for and recognition of sexual abuse and all other maltreatment of children. The training:

(1) must be provided, as part of a new employee orientation, to new school district and open-enrollment charter school educators, including counselors and coaches, and other district and charter school professional staff members;

(2) may be provided annually to any district or charter school staff member; and

(3) must include training concerning:

(A) factors indicating a child is at risk for sexual abuse or other maltreatment;

(B) likely warning signs indicating a child may be a victim of sexual abuse or other maltreatment;

(C) internal procedures for seeking assistance for a child who is at risk for sexual abuse or other maltreatment, including referral to a school counselor, a social worker, or another mental health professional;

(D) techniques for reducing a child’s risk of sexual abuse or other maltreatment; and

(E) community organizations that have relevant existing research-based programs that are able to provide training or other education for school district or open-enrollment charter school staff members, students, and parents.

(d) For any training under Subsection (c), each school district and open-enrollment charter school shall maintain records that include the name of each district or charter school staff member who participated in the training.

(e) If a school district or open-enrollment charter school determines that the district or charter school does not have sufficient resources to provide the training required under Subsection (c), the district or charter school shall work in conjunction with a community organization to provide the training at no cost to the district or charter school.

(f) The training under Subsection (c) may be included in staff development under Section 21.451.

(g) A school district or open-enrollment charter school employee may not be subject to any disciplinary proceeding, as defined by Section 22.0512(b), resulting from an action taken in compliance with this section. The requirements of this section are considered to involve an employee’s judgment and discretion and are not considered ministerial acts for purposes of immunity from liability under Section 22.0511. Nothing in this section may be considered to limit the immunity from liability provided under Section 22.0511.

(h) For purposes of this section, “other maltreatment” has the meaning assigned by Section 42.002, Human Resources Code.

SECTION 3. Section 42.002, Human Resources Code, is amended by adding Subdivision (23) to read as follows:

(23) “Other maltreatment” means:

(A) abuse, as defined by Section 261.001 or 261.401, Family Code; or

(B) neglect, as defined by Section 261.001 or 261.401, Family Code.

SECTION 4. Subchapter C, Chapter 42, Human Resources Code, is amended by adding Section 42.04261 to read as follows:

Sec. 42.04261. OTHER TRAINING OF PERSONNEL: CHILD-PLACING AGENCIES AND DAY-CARE CENTERS. (a) Notwithstanding Section 42.0426(a)(1), a child-placing agency or day-care center shall provide training for staff members in prevention techniques for and the recognition of symptoms of sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children and the responsibility and procedure of reporting suspected occurrences of sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children to the department or other appropriate entity.

(b) The type of training required under Subsection (a) shall be determined by department rule. The training must be provided for at least an hour annually and must include training concerning:

(1) factors indicating a child is at risk for sexual abuse or other maltreatment;

(2) likely warning signs indicating a child may be a victim of sexual abuse or other maltreatment;

(3) internal procedures for reporting sexual abuse or other maltreatment; and

(4) community organizations that have existing training programs that are able to provide training or other education for child-placing agency or day-care center staff members, children, and parents.

(c) If a child-placing agency or day-care center determines that it does not have sufficient resources to provide the training required under this section, the agency or center may contact a department licensing employee to obtain information concerning community organizations that will provide such training at no cost to the agency or center.

SECTION 5. Subchapter C, Chapter 42, Human Resources Code, is amended by adding Section 42.0428 to read as follows:

Sec. 42.0428. POLICIES ADDRESSING SEXUAL ABUSE AND OTHER MALTREATMENT OF CHILDREN. (a) Each child-placing agency or day-care center shall adopt and implement a policy addressing sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children.

(b) A policy required by this section must address:

(1) methods for increasing child-placing agency and day-care center staff and parent awareness of issues regarding and prevention techniques for sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children, including knowledge of likely warning signs indicating that a child may be a victim of sexual abuse or other maltreatment; and

(2) actions that, after contacting an agency or center, the parent of a child who is a victim of sexual abuse or other maltreatment should take to obtain assistance and intervention.

(c) The methods under Subsection (b)(1) for increasing awareness of issues regarding and prevention techniques for sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children must include:

(1) the training required under Section 42.04261; and

(2) strategies for coordination between the child-placing agency or day-care center and appropriate community organizations.

SECTION 6. Subsection (a), Section 11.252, Education Code, as amended by this Act, applies beginning with the 2011-2012 school year.

SECTION 7. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2011.


______________________________ ______________________________
President of the Senate Speaker of the House

I hereby certify that S.B. No. 471 passed the Senate on May 10, 2011, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.

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Secretary of the Senate

I hereby certify that S.B. No. 471 passed the House on May 23, 2011, by the following vote: Yeas 142, Nays 0, one present not voting.

______________________________
Chief Clerk of the House

Approved:

______________________________
Date

______________________________
Governor