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Communicating About Safety Personnel

Police officer walking with students

Districts should consider communicating with the public regarding the implementation of the House Bill (HB) 3 of the 88th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature requirement for having an armed security officer at each campus during regular school hours.

The presence of an armed officer on campus may cause apprehension for some parents and community members. Districts may alleviate some of the uneasiness by being transparent about the presence and role of law enforcement in schools.

A recent EdWeek article suggests the following avenues for sharing information with the public:

  • Include the officers’ names and photographs on campus websites.
  • Provide information on the district or campus website regarding the role or a job description of the armed security officer.
  • Introduce officers at parent night and in the school newsletter.
  • Have the officers interact with families in drop-off and pick-up lines before and after school.
  • Allow easy access to the memorandums of understanding, which detail officers’ roles in schools.

Texas districts claiming a good cause exception and appointing a school marshal or school guardian should keep the identity of those employees confidential. However, information about those roles can be shared to provide as much transparency as possible.

The full article, Schools Skip Simple Ways to Build Trust in School Police, Research Finds, is available on the EdWeek website. More information about the HB 3 requirement can be found in the HRX article Safety Personnel Staffing.

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Sarah James
Sarah James
Communications Specialist

Sarah James joined HR Services in 2019. Prior to that, she worked at a Central Texas school district for 11 years. She is responsible for managing web content, HR Services articles, HRX newsletter, social media accounts, and marketing efforts.

James has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Concordia University Texas in Austin.

Email Sarah if you have a story idea for the HRX.

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