TITLE 16
Education

CHAPTER 16-21
Health and Safety of Pupils

SECTION 16-21-23


§ 16-21-23. School safety teams, school crisis response teams, and school safety assessments.

(a) Each school district of each town, city, and regional school department shall conduct a school safety assessment in conjunction with local police, fire, school safety team pursuant to the provisions of this section and any other expert said school department deems necessary. The assessment shall examine the current status of each school building's safety and shall be performed within thirty (30) days of passage of this act, and every three (3) years thereafter.

(1) There shall be a Rhode Island school safety committee whose functions shall include, but not be limited to, providing training to law enforcement, school administrators, and teachers; collecting and reviewing all hazard safety security assessments; and offering recommendations and assistance to each school district of every town, city, and regional school department, in an effort to increase the safety of students and faculty. The committee shall be comprised of twelve (12) members as follows: the superintendent of the Rhode Island state police or designee, who shall serve as chairperson of the committee; the president of the Police Chiefs' Association, or designee; the director of the Rhode Island emergency management agency, or designee; the commissioner of the department of elementary and secondary education, or designee; a representative from the Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association, to be selected by the association; the director of the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals, or designee; the state fire marshal, or designee; a representative of the Rhode Island Association of School Maintenance Directors, to be selected by the association; a representative from the Rhode Island Association of School Principals, to be selected by the association; a representative from the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, to be selected by the association; a representative from the National Education Association of Rhode Island ("NEARI"), who shall be a full-time classroom teacher, to be selected by the president of NEARI; and one representative from the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals ("RIFTHP"), who shall be a full-time classroom teacher, to be selected by the president of the RIFTHP.

(2) Each school department of each town, city, and regional school district shall complete the emergency action plan and shall submit the all hazards site safety survey report to the Rhode Island school safety committee every three (3) years for the committee's review and recommendation.

(3) The assessment shall be completed by November 1 of the year mandated, and by December 31 of that year, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall report to the speaker of the house, the senate president, and the governor that the assessments have been completed. Assessments performed within a year of the date of passage of this act shall satisfy this requirement.

(4) All meetings regarding the school safety assessment are not subject to the open meetings law pursuant to chapter 46 of title 42, and documents produced including, but not limited to, meeting minutes and the school safety assessment are not subject to the access to public records law pursuant to chapter 2 of title 38.

(b) The school committee of each town, city, and regional school department shall review and adopt in executive session a comprehensive school safety plan regarding crisis intervention, emergency response, and management. The plan shall be developed by a school safety team comprised of representatives of the school committee; representatives of student, teacher, and parent organizations; school safety personnel; school administration; and members of local law enforcement, fire, and emergency personnel. Members of the school safety team shall be appointed by the school committee and/or school superintendent of the town, city, or regional school district. In creating the school safety plan, the school safety team(s) shall consult the model school safety plan developed by the department of elementary and secondary education pursuant to § 16-21-23.1.

(c) The school crisis response team shall be comprised of those selected school personnel willing to serve as members of a psychological response team to address the psychological and emotional needs of the school community, and may seek mental health resources from the department of elementary and secondary education. Members of the school crisis response team may coordinate mental health services for those students and school employees affected by acts of violence in the schools, using resources available through the department of elementary and secondary education.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2001, ch. 151, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 151, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 211, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 19, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 32, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 9, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 10, § 1.)