New York Education Section 2801-a - School Safety Plans.

2801-a. School safety plans. 1. The board of education or trustees, as defined in section two of this chapter, of every school district within the state, however created, and every board of cooperative educational services and county vocational education and extension board and the chancellor of the city school district of the city of New York shall adopt and amend a comprehensive district-wide school safety plan and building-level school safety plans regarding crisis intervention, emergency response and management, provided that in the city school district of the city of New York, such plans shall be adopted by the chancellor of the city school district. Such plans shall be developed by a district-wide school safety team and a building-level school safety team established pursuant to subdivision four of this section and shall be in a form developed by the commissioner in consultation with the division of criminal justice services, the superintendent of the state police and any other appropriate state agencies. A school district having only one school building, shall develop a single building-level school safety plan, which shall also fulfill all requirements for development of a district-wide plan.

2. Such comprehensive district-wide safety plan shall be developed by the district-wide school safety team and shall include at a minimum:

a. policies and procedures for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel as well as visitors to the school;

b. policies and procedures for responding to acts of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel as well as visitors to the school, including consideration of zero-tolerance policies for school violence;

c. appropriate prevention and intervention strategies such as:

(i) collaborative arrangements with state and local law enforcement officials, designed to ensure that school safety officers and other security personnel are adequately trained, including being trained to de-escalate potentially violent situations, and are effectively and fairly recruited;

(ii) non-violent conflict resolution training programs;

(iii) peer mediation programs and youth courts; and

(iv) extended day and other school safety programs;

d. policies and procedures for contacting appropriate law enforcement officials in the event of a violent incident;

e. policies and procedures for contacting parents, guardians or persons in parental relation to the students of the district in the event of a violent incident;

f. policies and procedures relating to school building security, including where appropriate the use of school safety officers and/or security devices or procedures;

g. policies and procedures for the dissemination of informative materials regarding the early detection of potentially violent behaviors, including but not limited to the identification of family, community and environmental factors, to teachers, administrators, school personnel, persons in parental relation to students of the district, students and other persons deemed appropriate to receive such information;

h. policies and procedures for annual school safety training for staff and students;

i. protocols for responding to bomb threats, hostage-takings, intrusions and kidnappings;

j. strategies for improving communication among students and between students and staff and reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as the establishment of youth-run programs, peer mediation, conflict resolution, creating a forum or designating a mentor for students concerned with bullying or violence and establishing anonymous reporting mechanisms for school violence; and

k. a description of the duties of hall monitors and any other school safety personnel, the training required of all personnel acting in a school security capacity, and the hiring and screening process for all personnel acting in a school security capacity.

3. A school emergency response plan, developed by the building-level school safety team defined in subdivision four of this section, shall include the following elements:

a. policies and procedures for the safe evacuation of students, teachers, other school personnel as well as visitors to the school in the event of a serious violent incident or other emergency, which shall include evacuation routes and shelter sites and procedures for addressing medical needs, transportation and emergency notification to persons in parental relation to a student. For purposes of this subdivision, "serious violent incident" means an incident of violent criminal conduct that is, or appears to be, life threatening and warrants the evacuation of students and/or staff, as defined in regulations of the commissioner developed in conjunction with the division of criminal justice services;

b. designation of an emergency response team comprised of school personnel, local law enforcement officials, and representatives from local regional and/or state emergency response agencies, other appropriate incident response teams, and a post-incident response team that includes appropriate school personnel, medical personnel, mental health counselors and others who can assist the school community in coping with the aftermath of a violent incident;

c. procedures for assuring that crisis response and law enforcement officials have access to floor plans, blueprints, schematics or other maps of the school interior, school grounds and road maps of the immediate surrounding area;

d. establishment of internal and external communication systems in emergencies;

e. definition of the chain of command in a manner consistent with the national interagency incident management system/incident command system;

f. coordination of the school safety plan with the state-wide plan for disaster mental health services to assure that the school has access to federal, state and local mental health resources in the event of a violent incident;

g. procedures for review and the conduct of drills and other exercises to test components of the emergency response plan; and

h. policies and procedures for securing and restricting access to the crime scene in order to preserve evidence in cases of violent crimes on school property.

4. Each district-wide school safety team shall be appointed by the board of education, or the chancellor in the case of the city school district of the city of New York, and shall include but not be limited to representatives of the school board, student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel, and other school personnel. Each building-level school safety team shall be appointed by the building principal, in accordance with regulations or guidelines prescribed by the board of education, chancellor or other governing body. Such building-level teams shall include but not be limited to representatives of teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel, community members, local law enforcement officials, local ambulance or other emergency response agencies, and any other representatives the board of education, chancellor or other governing body deems appropriate.

5. Each safety plan shall be reviewed by the appropriate school safety team on at least an annual basis, and updated as needed.

6. Each board of education, chancellor or other governing body shall make each district-wide and building-level school safety plan available for public comment at least thirty days prior to its adoption, provided that only a summary of each building-level emergency response plan shall be made available for public comment. Such district-wide and building-level plans may be adopted by the school board only after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties. Each district shall file a copy of its district-wide comprehensive safety plan with the commissioner and all amendments to such plan shall be filed with the commissioner no later than thirty days after their adoption. A copy of each building-level safety plan and any amendments thereto, shall be filed with the appropriate local law enforcement agency and with the state police within thirty days of its adoption. Building-level emergency response plans shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under article six of the public officers law or any other provision of law. If the board of education, chancellor or other governing body or chancellor fails to file such plan as required by this section, the commissioner may, in an amount determined by the commissioner, withhold public money from the district until the district is in compliance.

7. The commissioner may grant a waiver of the requirements of this section to any school district or board of cooperative educational services for a period of up to two years from the date of enactment upon a finding by the commissioner that such district had adopted a comprehensive school safety plan on the effective date of this section which is in substantial compliance with the requirements of this section.

8. The commissioner shall annually report to the governor and the legislature on the implementation and compliance with the provisions of this section.

9. Whenever it shall have been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the commissioner that a school district has failed to adopt a code of conduct which fully satisfies the requirements of section twenty-eight hundred one of this article, or a school safety plan which satisfies the requirements of this section, or to faithfully and completely implement either or both, the commissioner may, on thirty days notice to the district, withhold from the district monies to be paid to such district for the current school year pursuant to section thirty-six hundred nine-a of this chapter, exclusive of monies to be paid in respect of obligations to the retirement systems for school and district staff and pursuant to collective bargaining agreements, or the commissioner may direct the district to expend up to such amount upon the development and implementation of a code of conduct and a school district safety plan as required by such sections. Prior to such withholding or redirection, the commissioner shall provide the district an opportunity to present evidence of extenuating circumstances; when combined with evidence that the district shall promptly comply within short time frames that shall be established by the commissioner as part of an agreement between the district and the commissioner, the commissioner may temporarily stay the withholding or redirection of funds pending implementation of such agreement. If the district promptly and fully complies with the agreement and is in full compliance with this section and section twenty-eight hundred one of this article, the commissioner shall abate the withholding in its entirety. Any failure to meet the obligations of the compliance agreement by the district within the time frames established shall be considered a willful violation of a commissioner's order by the members of the district board for purposes of subdivision one of section three hundred six of the education law. Notwithstanding any other law, rule or regulation, such transfer shall take effect upon filing of a notice thereof with the director of the budget and the chairs of the senate finance and assembly ways and means committees.


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Last modified: September 11, 2016