TCTA-initiated bill protects teachers who document and report… | TCTA
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TCTA-initiated bill protects teachers who document and report student discipline issues

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A teacher with a violent student in the classroom sustained injuries after having her requests for student removal denied. She was subsequently marked down on her appraisal.

Another teacher received low ratings after making disciplinary referrals for several violent students, and was marked down for “not meeting district expectations for classroom safety.”

Current law recognizes the need for teachers to remove students from the classroom when the student’s behavior interferes with the teacher’s ability to teach, but too often the campus administration is not supportive.

TCTA lawyers get calls about these situations frequently, and we responded by working with legislators to pass a bill in the 2019 session to ensure that teachers are better supported in these situations.

Under TCTA-initiated SB 1451, sponsored by Chairman Larry Taylor and Rep. Trent Ashby, a teacher can’t be disciplined or marked down solely on the basis of disciplinary referrals or documenting student conduct. (Teachers can still be assigned an area of deficiency based on documented evidence of a deficiency in classroom management through observation or a substantiated report.)

TCTA members who experience discipline issues or lack of support from their administration in discipline matters should call the TCTA Legal Department at 888-879-8282. Remember, though — we can only help you if you were already a TCTA member at the time the incident happened.

TCTA-initiated bills highlighted in TEA letter to administrators

Two TCTA-initiated bills are highlighted in a “To the Administrator Addressed” letter from the Texas Education Agency. The letter notifies districts of several discipline-related bills going into effect this fall that may require amendments to the student code of conduct.

SB 2432, which has received national media attention, requires removal of a student to a DAEP for engaging in serious or threatening harassment of a school employee.

SB 1306 will require districts to post online, for each campus, contact information for the campus behavior coordinator or other administrator responsible for student discipline.