Policy Details Page

Policy 4311
Community Relations


PURPOSE

The purpose of the Tacoma School District’s safety and security program is to improve school safety and the educational climate at the school. The safety and security staff shall be integrated into the school community. They shall support a positive school climate by developing positive relationships with students, parents, and staff, and by helping to promote a safe, inclusive, and positive learning environment.

Annual Review

At the beginning of each school year, if the District has safety and security staff working on school property, the District must present to and discuss with students, and distribute to students’ families, information about the role and responsibilities of safety and security staff.

As required by RCW 28A.320.124, the Tacoma School District adopts the State’s definition of “Safety and Security Staff” to mean: a school resource officer, a school security officer, a campus security officer, and any other commissioned or noncommissioned employee or contractor, whose primary job duty is to provide safety or security services for a public school.

Limitations

The primary responsibility for maintaining proper order and conduct in the schools resides with school principals or their designee, with the support of other school staff. Principals or their designee maintain order and handle all student discipline matters consistent with Student Discipline Policy and Procedure 3241.

Requests for Intervention

Teachers and school administrators may ask safety and security staff to intervene if a student’s presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to others or an immediate and continuing threat of material and substantial disruption of the educational process or in other emergency circumstances consistent with District   protocols around emergencies. Safety and security staff do not need to be asked before intervening in emergencies.

Safety and Security Staff Responses

Tacoma Public Schools Safety and Security staff responding to requests for intervention will adhere to the principles and protocols established under the training required by RCW 28A.310.515, which include:

 

  • Constitutional and civil rights of children in schools, including state law governing search and interrogation of youth in schools;
  • Child and adolescent development;
  • Trauma-informed approaches to working with youth;
  • Recognizing and responding to youth mental health issues;
  • Educational rights of students with disabilities, the relationship of disability to behavior, and best practices for interacting with students with disabilities;
  • Bias free policing and cultural competency, including best practices for interacting with students from particular backgrounds, including English learner, LGBTQ, immigrant, female, and nonbinary students;
  • Local and national disparities in the use of force and arrests of children;
  • Collateral consequences of arrest, referral for prosecution, and court involvement;
  • Resources available in the community that serve as alternatives to arrest and prosecution and pathways for youth to access services without court or criminal justice involvement;
  • De-escalation techniques when working with youth or groups of youth;
  • State law regarding restraint and isolation in schools, including RCW 28A.600.485;
  • The federal family educational rights and privacy act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g) requirements including limits on access to and dissemination of student records for noneducational purposes; and
  • Restorative justice principles and practices.

Responses to requests for intervention will also be consistent with board policies governing isolation and restraint, nondiscrimination, and anti-racism.

Annual Review and Adoption of Agreements with Law Enforcement Agencies or Security Guard Companies

If a law enforcement agency or security guard company supplies safety and security staff to work on school property when students are expected to be present, the District must annually review and adopt an agreement with the law enforcement agency or security guard company. The agreement must:

 

A. Include a clear statement regarding safety and security staff duties and responsibilities related to student behavior and discipline that: prohibits a school resource officer from becoming involved in formal school discipline situations that are the responsibility of school administrators; recognizes that a trained safety and security staff knows when to informally interact with students to reinforce school rules and when to enforce the law; clarifies the circumstances under which teachers and school administrators may ask safety and security staff to intervene with a student; explains how safety and security staff will be engaged in creating a positive school climate and positive relationships with students; and describes the process for families to file complaints with the school and, when applicable, the local law enforcement agency or the company that provides the safety and security staff on contract related to safety and security staff and a process for investigating and responding to complaints;

 

B. Include a jointly determined hiring and placement process and a performance evaluation process; and

 

C. Either confirm that the safety and security staff have completed training series documentation provided by the educational service District or describe the plan for safety and security staff to complete the training series required by law.

The agreement review and adoption process must involve parents, students, and community members.

The Superintendent or designee will develop additional procedures to implement this policy.

Washington State Schools Directors’ Association (WSSDA) model Policy 4311 adopted with modifications.

 

Cross References: 

Policy 1600 – Anti-Racism 
Policy 2163 – Isolation and Restraint 
Policy 3210 – Non-Discrimination of Students 
Policy 3241 – Student Discipline 

Policy 4210- Regulation of Dangerous Weapons on School Premises 
Policy 4310 – Relations with the Law Enforcement, Fire Department, Child Protective Agencies and the County Health Department

Legal References: 

Chapter 28A.320.124 – School safety and security staff—Policy and procedure—Presentation to students
Chapter 28A.320.1241 – School safety and security staff—Collected agreements and information.
Chapter 28A.320.1242 – School safety and security staff—Agreements with law enforcement agencies or security guard companies.
20 U.S.C. 1232g Family Education Rights and Privacy Act\


Adoption Date: 10/12/2023

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