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A01812
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1423
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY ORTITAY, BARRAR, DeLUCA, MIHALEK, KAIL, FRITZ,
PUSKARIC, MADDEN, MEHAFFIE, NELSON, SCHLOSSBERG, LONGIETTI,
SCHROEDER, STAATS AND FARRY, MAY 7, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, MAY 7, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," in school safety and security,
further providing for school safety and security training;
providing for threat assessment; and, in school health
services, further providing for confidentiality, transference
and removal of health records.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 1310-B(1) of the act of March 10, 1949
(P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, added
June 22, 2018 (P.L.327, No.44), is amended to read:
Section 1310-B. School safety and security training.
School entities shall provide their employees with mandatory
training on school safety and security subject to the following:
(1) Training shall address any combination of one or
more of the following, based on the needs of the school
entity:
(i) Situational awareness.
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(ii) Trauma-informed education awareness.
(iii) Behavioral health awareness.
(iv) Suicide and bullying awareness.
(v) Substance use awareness.
(vi) Emergency training drills, including fire,
natural disaster, active shooter, hostage situation and
bomb threat.
(vii) Identification or recognition of student
behavior that may indicate a threat to the safety of the
student, other students, school employees, school
facilities, the community or others.
* * *
Section 2. The act is amended by adding an article to read:
ARTICLE XIII-E
THREAT ASSESSMENT
Section 1301-E. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Chief school administrator." A superintendent of a school
district, executive director of an intermediate unit,
administrative director of an area vocational-technical school
or chief executive officer of a charter school, regional charter
school or cyber charter school.
"County agency." The term includes, but is not limited to, a
county children and youth agency, drug and alcohol service
agency, mental health agency or other human or social services
agency.
"Mental health agency." The term includes, but is not
limited to, a state, county or local mental health service
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provider, crisis intervention center or psychiatric hospital.
"Public school entity." A school district, intermediate
unit, area vocational-technical school, charter school, regional
charter school or cyber charter school.
"Safe2Say Program." The Safe2Say Program established under
Article XIII-D.
"Student assistance program." As defined in 22 Pa. Code §
12.16 (relating to definitions).
"Threat assessment task force" or "task force." The threat
assessment task force established by the School Safety and
Security Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime
and Delinquency under section 1303-E.
"Threat assessment team" or "team." A threat assessment team
established by a public school entity under section 1302-E(a).
Section 1302-E. Threat assessment teams.
(a) Duties of public school entities and chief school
administrators.--The following shall apply:
(1) Each public school entity shall establish at least
one threat assessment team as provided under subsection (b)
for the assessment of and intervention with students whose
behavior may indicate a threat to the safety of the student,
other students, school employees, school facilities, the
community or others.
(2) Each chief school administrator or a designee shall:
(i) Appoint the members of the threat assessment
team and designate a member to serve as team leader.
(ii) Ensure and establish procedures for the
implementation of this section.
(iii) Facilitate opportunities for members of the
threat assessment team to complete group or individual
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training consistent with nationally recognized best
practices during paid working hours or as in-service
training.
(iv) Ensure that students, school employees and
parents and guardians are informed of the staff members
appointed to the team and how to report concerns to the
team. The information under this subparagraph shall be
posted on the public school entity's publicly accessible
Internet website.
(v) Annually develop and present to the school
entity's board of directors at an executive session a
report generally outlining the school entity's approach
to threat assessment which shall include:
(A) A verification that the public school entity
is in compliance with this article.
(B) The number and composition of established
threat assessment teams.
(C) The total number of threats assessed in the
public school entity.
(D) A summary of interactions with outside law
enforcement, juvenile probation and mental health
service providers.
(E) An assessment of the operation of the school
entity's threat assessment teams.
(F) Recommendations for improvement of the
school entity's threat assessment processes.
(G) Any additional information determined by the
chief school administrator or designee.
(b) Threat assessment team requirements.--The following
shall apply to threat assessment teams established under
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subsection (a):
(1) Each team shall:
(i) Include individuals with expertise in:
(A) School health.
(B) Counseling, school psychology, or social
work.
(C) Special education.
(D) School administration.
(E) School security or law enforcement, if
available.
(F) Juvenile probation, if available.
(G) Mental health, if available.
(H) Other school staff or community resources
who may serve as regular team members or be consulted
during the threat assessment process as appropriate,
and as determined necessary by the team.
(ii) Have a designated leader.
(iii) Be responsible, at a minimum, for the
following:
(A) Making age-appropriate informational
materials available to students regarding recognition
of threatening or at-risk behavior that may present a
threat to the student, other students, school
employees, school facilities, the community or others
and how to report their concerns.
(B) Making informational materials available to
school employees regarding recognition of threatening
or at-risk behavior that may present a threat to the
student, other students, school employees, school
facilities, the community or others and how to report
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their concerns.
(C) Identifying members of the school community
to whom threatening or at-risk behavior should be
reported, in addition to reports made under the
Safe2Say Program.
(D) Assisting in assessing and responding to
reports received through the Safe2Say Program. Where
a public school entity has only one threat assessment
team, that team may also serve as the school entity's
team for assessing and responding to reports received
through the Safe2Say Program.
(E) Assessing and responding to reports of
students exhibiting self-harm or suicide risk factors
or warning signs as provided for under section 1526.
(F) Assessing and making appropriate
determinations and referrals under subsection (c)
based on the information available to the team.
(G) Responding to threats as provided under
subsection (c).
(H) Providing required information to the chief
school administrator or designee to make the report
provided for under subsection (a)(2)(v).
(iv) Ensure parents and guardians are notified as
provided under subsection (c).
(v) Undergo training which shall address, at a
minimum, the following:
(A) Responsibilities of team members.
(B) The process of identifying, reporting,
assessing, responding to and intervening with
threats, including identifying and avoiding racial or
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cultural bias.
(C) Confidentiality requirements under Federal
and State law.
(2) The training required under this section shall be
credited toward a professional educator's continuing
professional education requirement under section 1205.2, any
staff development requirements for paraprofessionals under 22
Pa. Code § 14.105 (relating to personnel), a school or system
leader's continuing professional education requirement under
section 1205.5 and the school safety and security training
required under section 1310-B.
(3) A public school entity may satisfy the requirements
of subsection (a)(1) by assigning the duties listed under
paragraph (1) to an existing team established by the public
school entity.
(4) A threat assessment team established by a public
school entity may serve one or more schools within the public
school entity.
(c) Notification and referral.--Upon a preliminary
determination that a student's behavior may indicate a threat to
the safety of the student, other students, school employees,
school facilities, the community or others, the following shall
apply:
(1) A threat assessment team shall immediately notify
the chief school administrator or a designee and the
student's building principal. The building principal shall
then immediately notify the student's parent or guardian.
(2) Following notification of the parent or guardian,
the threat assessment team may refer the student, as
appropriate, to:
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(i) a student assistance program;
(ii) a mental health agency;
(iii) a health care provider;
(iv) a law enforcement agency;
(v) an evaluation under the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (Public Law 91-230, 20 U.S.C.
§ 1400 et seq.) or section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
of 1973 (Public Law 93-112, 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq.);
(vi) a student's existing individualized education
program team established under the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act and 22 Pa. Code Ch. 14
(relating to special education services and programs); or
(vii) an existing team established to implement a
student's section 504 service agreement established under
section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and 22 Pa.
Code Ch. 15 (relating to protected handicapped students).
(3) Nothing in this section shall:
(i) Preclude school employees from acting
immediately to address an imminent threat.
(ii) Limit the responsibilities of school employees
or other mandated reporters to report suspected child
abuse as required by law.
(iii) Limit the authority of a public school entity
to refer a student to the student assistance program
without referral by a threat assessment team, so long as
the student's behavior does not indicate a threat to the
safety of the student, other students, school employees,
school facilities, the community or others.
(d) Access to student information.--In order to carry out
the duties under subsections (b) and (c) and facilitate the
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timely assessment of, and intervention with, students whose
behavior may indicate a threat to the safety of the student,
other students, school employees, school facilities, the
community or others, a threat assessment team shall have access
to the following student information to the extent permissible
under Federal law:
(1) Notwithstanding any provision of section 1409 to the
contrary, student health records.
(2) Prior school disciplinary records.
(3) Records or information shared with the public school
entity under Article XIII-A and 42 Pa.C.S. § 6341(b.1)
(relating to adjudication).
(4) Records of any prior mental health or psychological
evaluations or screenings maintained by the public school
entity.
(5) Other records or information that may be relevant to
evaluating a threat or determining treatment or referral
options for a student that are maintained by the public
school entity.
(e) Cooperation of county agency or juvenile probation
department.--Notwithstanding 42 Pa.C.S. § 6352.2 (relating to
interagency information sharing), upon a preliminary
determination that a student's behavior indicates a threat to
the safety of the student, other students, school employees,
school facilities, the community or others, a threat assessment
team may request that the county agency or juvenile probation
department consult and cooperate with the team in assessing the
student who is the subject of the preliminary determination. The
county agency or juvenile probation department shall comply with
the threat assessment team's request except as prohibited by the
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following:
(1) 42 Pa.C.S. § 5944 (relating to confidential
communications to psychiatrists or licensed psychologists).
(2) The act of February 13, 1970 (P.L.19, No.10),
entitled "An act enabling certain minors to consent to
medical, dental and health services, declaring consent
unnecessary under certain circumstances."
(3) The act of July 9, 1976 (P.L.817, No.143), known as
the Mental Health Procedures Act.
(4) The act of November 29, 1990 (P.L.585, No.148),
known as the Confidentiality of HIV-Related Information Act.
(5) Federal law, including the Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 90-247, 20 U.S.C. §
1232g), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
(Public Law 104-191, 110 Stat. 1936), and the procedures,
limitations and criteria set forth in regulations adopted by
the Department of Health and Human Services relating to the
confidentiality of drug and alcohol treatment records.
(f) Use of records.--The threat assessment team shall use
the information contained in the records obtained under
subsections (d) and (e) subsection (d) in fulfilling the team's
duty to evaluate a threat or the recommended disposition of a
threat. No member of a threat assessment team may redisclose any
record or information obtained under this section or otherwise
use any record of a student beyond the purpose for which the
disclosure was made to the threat assessment team.
(g) Disclosure.--The following shall apply:
(1) Records or documentation developed or maintained by
a threat assessment team shall not be subject to the act of
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February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know
Law.
(2) Records of a threat assessment team that pertain to
a student shall be considered a part of the student's
educational records.
(3) Public school entities shall not be required to
report any data on the functioning of threat assessment teams
other than specifically required under this article.
Section 1303-E. Threat assessment task force.
No later than 60 days from the effective date of this
section, the School Safety and Security Committee within the
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency shall establish
a threat assessment task force. The following shall apply:
(1) The task force shall consist of one representative
from each of the following:
(i) The Department of Education.
(ii) The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and
Delinquency.
(iii) The Department of Human Services.
(iv) The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
(v) The Office of Attorney General.
(vi) The Pennsylvania State Police.
(vii) The Pennsylvania Association of School
Administrators.
(viii) The Pennsylvania School Boards Association.
(ix) The Pennsylvania State Education Association.
(x) The Juvenile Court Judges' Commission.
(xi) The Association of School Psychologists of
Pennsylvania.
(2) The task force shall elect one of its members to
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serve as chairperson.
(3) The task force shall:
(i) Meet at least bi-annually, at the call of the
chairperson.
(ii) Receive any administrative assistance required
from the School Safety and Security Committee within the
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
(iii) Research, develop and publish best practices
in implementing this article and make recommendations to
the Governor and the General Assembly regarding
legislative or regulatory changes necessary to improve
threat assessment in public school entities.
(iv) Develop and offer, at no charge to public
school entities, all of the following:
(A) A model training program for members of
threat assessment teams that may be used and adapted
by public school entities and team members to meet
the requirements of section 1302-E(b)(1)(v).
(B) A model training program for school
employees, other than members of threat assessment
teams, that may be used and adapted by public school
entities to meet the requirements of section 1310-
B(1).
(C) Model, age-appropriate informational
materials for students that may be used and adapted
by public school entities to meet the requirements of
section 1302-E(a)(2)(iv) and (b)(1)(iii)(A).
(D) Model informational materials for parents
and school employees that may be used and adapted by
public school entities to meet the requirements of
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section 1302-E(a)(2)(iv) and (b)(1)(iii)(B).
(v) Model training programs developed under this
paragraph shall be available through the Internet or
other distance communications systems.
(vi) Within 60 days of establishment of the task
force, develop model procedures and guidelines that
public school entities may use in implementing this
article. The model procedures and guidelines shall, at a
minimum:
(A) Establish standard definitions and
terminology.
(B) Reflect best practices in identifying,
reporting, assessing and responding to threats,
including threats reported through the Safe2Say
Program.
(C) Provide for flexibility and local decision-
making and recognize the differing levels of
available resources in each public school entity.
(D) Be posted on the Pennsylvania Commission on
Crime and Delinquency's publicly accessible Internet
website.
Section 1304-E. Grant funding.
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a
public school entity , other than a cyber charter school, shall
be eligible to receive grant funding under section 1302-A or
1306-B for the purpose of implementing this article.
Section 3. Section 1409 of the act is amended to read:
Section 1409. Confidentiality, Transference and Removal of
Health Records.--[All] (a) Except as provided under subsection
(b), all health records established and maintained pursuant to
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this act shall be confidential, and their contents shall be
divulged only when necessary for the health of the child or at
the request of the parent or guardian to a physician legally
qualified to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathy or
osteopathic surgery in the Commonwealth.
(b) Notwithstanding any limitation on disclosure provided
under this section or any other law, a public school entity may
disclose information from education records to appropriate
parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the
information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the
student or other individuals in accordance with the Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 90-247,
20 U.S.C. § 1232g).
(c) In the case of any child of school age who enrolls in
any school, public or private, in any district and who
previously attended school in another district in Pennsylvania,
the district or school wherein the child is newly enrolled shall
request and the district or school where the child previously
attended shall surrender the health record of the child. School
districts, joint school boards or private schools, shall not
destroy a child's health record for a period of at least two
years after the child ceases to be enrolled, but may surrender
such child's health record or portion thereof to his parent or
guardian if the child does not re-enroll in an elementary or
secondary school in Pennsylvania.
Section 4. The amendment or addition of sections 1310-B(1)
and 1302-E shall apply beginning in the 2021-2022 school year.
Section 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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