The House Public Education Committee considered several bills in its Tuesday hearing. One bill generated a lengthy discussion between committee members and witnesses about the role of threat assessment teams (created in the 2019 legislative session). HB 759 by Rep. Sam Harless would create a student threat assessment database for students who are determined by a threat assessment team to be a serious risk to themselves or others. Access to the database must be provided to a peace officer or resource officer assigned to the student's school and to the principal and superintendent (or their designee) at each school that the student has attended or currently attends. The information is confidential and cannot be used for an unrelated purpose.
As the teams are a new concept, it has been difficult for some to delineate between the risk assessment and student support role that the teams are intended to provide, and student discipline. There is also concern that creating a database that can be shared between districts could unfairly label a student or create discriminatory practices. A witness with experience working with threat assessment teams explained that the value of the bill would be the ability to ensure that a student moving between districts could continue to access any supports that the threat assessment team had identified and implemented.
Other bills heard today were: