Texas Education Code - EDUC § 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, sex trafficking, 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.

(a-1) A school district may collaborate with local law enforcement and outside consultants with expertise in the prevention of sexual abuse and sex trafficking to create the policy required under Subsection (a), and to create a referral protocol for high-risk students.

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

(1) methods for increasing staff, student, and parent awareness of issues regarding sexual abuse, sex trafficking, 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, sex trafficking, or other maltreatment, using resources developed by the agency or the commissioner regarding those issues, including resources developed by the agency under Section 38.004 ;

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

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

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

(1) must be provided, as part of a new employee orientation, to all new school district and open-enrollment charter school employees and to existing district and open-enrollment charter school employees on a schedule adopted by the agency by rule until all district and open-enrollment charter school employees have taken the training;  and

(2) must include training concerning:

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

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

(C) internal procedures for seeking assistance for a child who is at risk for sexual abuse, sex trafficking, 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, sex trafficking, 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 .


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