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SB-796 School safety: comprehensive school safety plans: school peace officers: pupil searches.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/20/2021 04:00 AM
SB796:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 796


Introduced by Senator Bradford

February 19, 2021


An act to amend Sections 32282.1 and 38000 of the Education Code, relating to school safety.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 796, as introduced, Bradford. School safety: comprehensive school safety plans: school peace officers: pupil searches.
(1) Existing law requires each school district and county office of education to be responsible for the overall development of all comprehensive school safety plans for its schools operating kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive. Existing law requires the comprehensive school safety plan to contain specified elements. Under existing law, as the comprehensive school safety plans are reviewed and updated, the Legislature encourages all plans to include, to the extent resources are available, clear guidelines for the roles and responsibilities for various people used by the school, including peace officers. Existing law encourages those guidelines to have specified elements.
This bill would encourage those guidelines to include additional elements, including, among other things, clear policies and procedures for how and when school administrators refer pupils to law enforcement. The bill would state the intent of the Legislature that a school’s role of “loco parentis” when a pupil is on a schoolsite does not extend to a pupil in distance learning in the home.
(2) Existing law authorizes a governing board of a school district to establish a school police department under the supervision of a school chief of police and authorizes the employment of peace officers.
This bill would prohibit a peace officer employed by a school district from sharing information collected from a pupil with other law enforcement agencies. The bill would require information gathered from a pupil by a peace officer employed by a school district to only be collected for the purpose of the pupil’s school records and would prohibit the records from being shared with other law enforcement agencies unless the agency has a search warrant.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 32282.1 of the Education Code is amended to read:

32282.1.
 (a) As comprehensive school safety plans are reviewed and updated, the Legislature encourages all plans, to the extent that resources are available, to include clear guidelines for the roles and responsibilities of mental health professionals, community intervention professionals, school counselors, school resource officers, and police officers on school campuses, if the school district uses these people.
(b) The guidelines developed pursuant to subdivision (a) are encouraged to include both all of the following: following elements:
(1) Primary strategies to create and maintain a positive school climate, promote school safety, and increase pupil achievement, and prioritize mental health and intervention services, restorative and transformative justice programs, and positive behavior interventions and support.
(2) Consistent with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 32282, protocols to address the mental health care of pupils who have witnessed a violent act at any time, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(A) While on school grounds.
(B) While going to or coming from school.
(C) During a lunch period whether on or off campus.
(D) During, or while going to or coming from, a school-sponsored activity.
(3) Clear policies and procedures for how and when school administrators refer pupils to law enforcement.
(4) The creation of a formal diversion program to address minor school-based criminal offenses, aimed at minimizing arrest citations and bookings.
(5) The creation of a protocol for schoolsite administrators to refer pupils who exhibit indicators of mental health needs to mental health professionals or school counselors, instead of a referral to the police department or school police department, where appropriate.
(6) Training of all officers working on campus in crisis intervention to handle calls that relate to pupils in mental health crisis or exhibiting behavior that may indicate a mental health crisis.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that a school’s role of “loco parentis” when a pupil is on a schoolsite does not extend to a pupil engaging in distance learning while in the home.

SEC. 2.

 Section 38000 of the Education Code is amended to read:

38000.
 (a) The governing board of a school district may establish a security department under the supervision of a chief of security as designated by, and under the direction of, the superintendent of the school district. In accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 45100) of Part 25, the governing board of a school district may employ personnel to ensure the safety of school district personnel and pupils and the security of the real and personal property of the school district. It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section that a school district security department is supplementary to city and county law enforcement agencies and is not vested with general police powers.
(b) The governing board of a school district may establish a school police department under the supervision of a school chief of police and, in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 45100) of Part 25, may employ peace officers, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 830.32 of the Penal Code, to ensure the safety of school district personnel and pupils, and the security of the real and personal property of the school district.
(c) The governing board of a school district that establishes a security department or a police department shall set minimum qualifications of employment for the chief of security or school chief of police, respectively, including, but not limited to, prior employment as a peace officer or completion of a peace officer training course approved by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. A chief of security or school chief of police shall comply with the prior employment or training requirement set forth in this subdivision as of January 1, 1993, or a date one year subsequent to the initial employment of the chief of security or school chief of police by the school district, whichever occurs later. This subdivision shall not be construed to require the employment by a school district of additional personnel.
(d) A school district may assign a school police reserve officer who is deputized pursuant to Section 35021.5 to a schoolsite to supplement the duties of school police officers pursuant to this section.
(e) It is the intent of the Legislature to evaluate the presence of peace officers and other law enforcement on school campuses and to identity identify and consider alternative options to ensure pupil safety based on the needs of the local school communities. It is the intent of the Legislature to consider encouraging local educational agencies to use school resources currently allocated to such personnel, including school police departments and contracts with local police or sheriff departments, for pupil support services, such as mental health services and professional development for school employees on cultural competency and restorative justice, as needed, if found to be a more appropriate use of resources based upon the needs of the pupils and campuses that serve them.
(f) (1) A peace officer employed by a school district pursuant to subdivision (b) shall not share information collected from a pupil with other law enforcement agencies.
(2) (A) Information gathered from a pupil by a peace officer employed by a school district shall only be collected for the purpose of the pupil’s school records.
(B) The records described in subparagraph (A) shall not be shared with other law enforcement agencies unless the agency has a search warrant.