Understanding HB3: Explore the Ways Texas is Ensuring Student Safety
In response to the pressing need for improved safety measures in schools, House Bill 3 establishes a dedicated safety and security department within the Texas Education Agency (TEA). This department will have the authority to enforce robust active-shooter protocols in school districts, ensuring the highest level of protection for our students. This comprehensive bill was signed into law on June 14th and is set to take effect on September 1, 2023.
House Bill 3 Highlights
School Safety Review Teams: School safety review teams will be set up to conduct vulnerability assessments of all school campuses on an annual basis.
Notifications: To further enhance safety, the bill mandates that the TEA develops standards for notifying parents of any “violent activity” taking place on campus.
Mental Health Training: Recognizing the critical role played by school employees, the bill requires those who regularly interact with children to complete an evidence-based mental health first-aid training program. To support this training, the TEA will reimburse employees for their time and expenses.
Armed Officer on Campus: Districts must have at least one armed security officer during regular school hours at each campus in the district. The officer must be a district peace officer, school resource officer, or a commissioned peace officer employed as security personnel.
Sheriff Led School Safety Meetings: In counties with a population of fewer than 350,000 people, the bill imposes an additional measure, requiring the sheriff to hold semi-annual meetings to address school safety and law enforcement responses to violent incidents. This ensures a clear chain of command and proper functioning of communication systems.
Emergency Response Walk-Through: Each school district will be obliged to provide the Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement agencies with a walkthrough and map of each campus. This crucial step aims to prevent confusion and ensure a swift and effective response in the event of an incident.
Funding: An allocation of $15,000 per campus is provided to enhance school safety and security. This encompasses various expenses, including those related to securing school facilities as specified in Section 37.351. Also, the average daily attendance rate for each student has increased from $9.72 to $10 for every $50 by which the district’s maximum basic allotment under Section 48.051 exceeds $6,160. This amount is prorated as necessary.
Make The Most Of Your School Safety Funding With SaferWatch
Texas House Bill 3 and the implementation of Alyssa’s Law showcase the state’s dedication to safeguarding its schools. These initiatives underscore the vital role panic alert technology plays in ensuring security while also granting schools the freedom to select the most suitable solution for their specific requirements.
SaferWatch fully supports these endeavors by providing schools with empowering solutions that prioritize safety and security, while also offering the necessary flexibility in today’s diverse educational landscape.
SaferWatch App Provides a Digital Panic Button
The SaferWatch mobile app allows users to report emergencies via a panic alert button directly from the phone application. An alert is immediately sent to a pre-designated list of first responders, emergency contacts and administrators when the silent panic alert button is engaged.
Real-time GPS Coordinates Reveal Emergency Location
SaferWatch mobile app immediately provides emergency dispatch services with a user’s location and GPS coordinates.
Two-Way Communication & Live Video
Emergency responders and users have the ability to communicate via a two-way message system, including the ability to broadcast a live video stream.
Life Saving Video Surveillance
The SaferWatch app instantly connects law enforcement and first responders with real time surveillance of the school property through the school’s camera system. This allows dispatchers to survey the scene in real-time and provide lifesaving instruction and warnings to those inside the school.
Mass Notifications & Emergency Alerts
Through the SaferWatch App a mass notification can be enabled to:
•Immediately inform the public.
•Prevent more people from entering the area.
•Encourage people to leave the area of the threat/incident.
•Inform the families of the situation.
•Initiate or assist during evacuation.
Contact SaferWatch today to learn more about our premier mobile panic alert solution and how you can advocate for your school today.