Student Support Services

Section 2801-a – Chapter 16, Title II, Article 55   

§  2801-a. School safety plans.

  1. The board of education or trustees,as defined in section two of this  chapter,  of  every  school  district within  the  state,  however  created,  and  every  board of cooperative educational services and county vocational education and extension board and the chancellor of the city school district of the city of  New  York shall  adopt  and amend a comprehensive district-wide school safety plan and building-level school safety plans  regarding  crisis  intervention,emergency  response  and  management,  provided  that in the city school district of the city of New York, such plans shall  be  adopted  by  the chancellor of the city school district. Such plans shall be developed by  district-wide  school  safety team and a building-level school safety team established pursuant to subdivision four of this section and  shall be  in  a  form  developed  by the commissioner in consultation with the division of criminal justice services, the superintendent of  the  state police  and  any  other  appropriate  state  agencies. A school district having only one school building, shall develop a  single  building-level school  safety  plan,  which  shall  also  fulfill  all requirements for development of a district-wide plan.
  2. Such comprehensive district-wide safety plan shall be developed  by the district-wide school safety team and shall include at a minimum:
    • a. policies and procedures for responding to implied or direct threats of  violence  by  students,  teachers, other school personnel as well as visitors to the school;
    • b. policies and procedures for  responding  to  acts  of  violence  by students,  teachers,  other  school personnel as well as visitors to the school, including consideration of zero-tolerance  policies  for  school violence;
    • ac. appropriate prevention and intervention strategies such as:
      1. (i)  collaborative  arrangements  with state and local law enforcement officials, designed to ensure that  school  safety  officers  and  other security  personnel  are  adequately trained, including being trained ode-escalate potentially violent  situations,  and  are  effectively  and fairly recruited;
      2. (ii) non-violent conflict resolution training programs;
      3. (iii) peer mediation programs and youth courts; and
      4. (iv) extended day and other school safety programs;
    • d.  policies and procedures for contacting appropriate law enforcement officials in the event of a violent incident;
    • e. policies  and  procedures  for  contacting  parents,  guardians  or persons  in  parental  relation  to  the students of the district in the event of a violent incident;
    • f. policies and  procedures  relating  to  school  building  security,including  where  appropriate  the  use of school safety officers and/or security devices or procedures;
    • g. policies  and  procedures  for  the  dissemination  of  informative materials   regarding   the   early  detection  of  potentially  violent behaviors, including but not limited to the  identification  of  family,community and environmental factors, to teachers, administrators, school personnel,  persons  in  parental  relation to students of the district,students  and  other  persons  deemed  appropriate   to   receive   such information;
    • h. policies and procedures for annual school safety training for staff and students;
    • i.   protocols   for  responding  to  bomb  threats,  hostage-takings,intrusions and kidnappings;
    • j. strategies for improving communication among students  and  between students  and staff and reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as the establishment of youth-run  programs,  peer  mediation,  conflict resolution,  creating  a  forum  or  designating  a  mentor for students concerned with bullying or violence and establishing anonymous reporting mechanisms for school violence; and
    • k.  a  description of the duties of hall monitors and any other school safety personnel, the training required of all  personnel  acting  in  a school  security  capacity, and the hiring and screening process for all personnel acting in a school security capacity.
  3. A school emergency response plan, developed by  the  building-level school  safety  team  defined in subdivision four of this section, shall include the following elements:
    • a. policies and  procedures  for  the  safe  evacuation  of  students,teachers,  other  school  personnel as well as visitors to the school in the event of a serious violent incident or other emergency, which  shall include   evacuation   routes  and  shelter  sites  and  procedures  for addressing medical needs, transportation and emergency  notification  to persons  in  parental  relation  to  a  student.  For  purposes  of this subdivision, "serious violent incident" means  an  incident  of  violent criminal  conduct  that  is,  or  appears  to  be,  life threatening and warrants  the  evacuation  of  students  and/or  staff,  as  defined  in regulations  of  the  commissioner  developed  in  conjunction  with the division of criminal justice services;
    • b. designation of an  emergency  response  team  comprised  of  school personnel,  local  law  enforcement  officials, and representatives from local  regional  and/or  state  emergency   response   agencies,   other appropriate  incident  response teams, and a post-incident response team that includes appropriate school personnel,  medical  personnel,  mental health  counselors  and  others  who  can assist the school community in coping with the aftermath of a violent incident;
    • c. procedures for assuring that crisis response  and  law  enforcement officials  have  access  to floor plans, blueprints, schematics or other maps of the school  interior,  school  grounds  and  road  maps  of  the immediate surrounding area;
    • d.  establishment  of  internal  and external communication systems in emergencies;
    • e. definition of the chain of command in a manner consistent with  the national interagency incident management system/incident command system;
    • f. coordination of the school safety plan with the state-wide plan for disaster  mental health services to assure that the school has access to federal, state and local mental health  resources  in  the  event  of a violent incident;
    • g. procedures for review and the conduct of drills and other exercises to test components of the emergency response plan; and
    • h.  policies and procedures for securing and restricting access to the crime scene in order to preserve evidence in cases of violent crimes  on school property.
  4. Each  district-wide  school  safety team shall be appointed by the board of education, or the chancellor in the case  of  the  city  school district  of  the city of New York, and shall include but not be limited to representatives of the school board, student, teacher, administrator,and parent organizations, school  safety  personnel,  and  other  school personnel.  Each building-level school safety team shall be appointed by the building principal, in accordance  with  regulations  or  guidelines prescribed  by  the  board  of  education, chancellor or other governing body. Such building-level teams shall include  but  not  be  limited  to representatives  of  teacher,  administrator,  and parent organizations,school safety personnel and other school personnel,  community  members,local  law  enforcement  officials,  local  ambulance or other emergency response agencies, and any other representatives the board of education,chancellor or other governing body deems appropriate.
  5. Each safety plan shall be reviewed by the appropriate school safety team on at least an annual basis, and updated as needed.
  6. Each  board of education, chancellor or other governing body shall make each district-wide and building-level school safety plan  available for  public comment at least thirty days prior to its adoption, provided that only a summary of each building-level emergency response plan shall be  made  available  for  public   comment.   Such   district-wide   and building-level  plans  may  be adopted by the school board only after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation  of  school personnel,  parents,  students  and  any  other interested parties. Each district shall file a copy of  its  district-wide  comprehensive  safety plan  with  the  commissioner  and  all amendments to such plan shall be filed with the commissioner  no  later  than  thirty  days  after  their adoption.  A  copy of each building-level safety plan and any amendments thereto, shall be filed  with  the  appropriate  local  law  enforcement agency  and  with  the  state police within thirty days of its adoption .Building-level emergency response plans shall be confidential and  shall not  be  subject  to disclosure under article six of the public officer slaw or any other provision of law. If the board of education, chancellor or other governing body  or  chancellor  fails  to  file  such  plan  as required  by this section, the commissioner may, in an amount determined by the commissioner, withhold public money from the district  until  the district is in compliance.
  7. The  commissioner  may  grant a waiver of the requirements of this section to any school  district  or  board  of  cooperative  educational services for a period of up to two years from the date of enactment upon  finding  by  the  commissioner  that  such  district  had  adopted  comprehensive school safety plan on the effective date of  this  section which  is  in  substantial  compliance  with  the  requirements  of this section.
  8. The commissioner shall annually report  to  the  governor  and  the legislature  on the implementation and compliance with the provisions of this section.
  9. Whenever it shall have been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the commissioner that a school district  has  failed  to  adopt  a  code  of conduct  which  fully satisfies the requirements of section twenty-eight hundred one of this article, or a school safety plan which satisfies the requirements of this section, or to faithfully and completely  implement either  or  both,  the  commissioner  may,  on thirty days notice to the district, withhold from the district monies to be paid to such  district for  the  current  school  year  pursuant  to section thirty-six hundred nine-a of this chapter, exclusive of monies to be  paid  in  respect  of obligations  to the retirement systems for school and district staff and pursuant to collective bargaining agreements, or  the  commissioner  may direct the district to expend up to such amount upon the development and implementation of a code of conduct and a school district safety plan as required by such sections. Prior to such withholding or redirection, the commissioner  shall  provide  the  district  an  opportunity  to present evidence of extenuating circumstances; when combined with evidence  that the  district  shall promptly comply within short time frames that shall be established by the commissioner as part of an agreement  between  the district and the commissioner, the commissioner may temporarily stay the withholding  or  redirection  of  funds  pending  implementation of such agreement.  If  the  district  promptly  and  fully  complies  with  the agreement  and  is  in  full  compliance  with  this section and section twenty-eight hundred one of this article, the commissioner  shall  abate the  withholding in its entirety. Any failure to meet the obligations of the  compliance  agreement  by  the  district  within  the  time  frames established  shall be considered a willful violation of a commissioner's order  by  the members of the district board for purposes of subdivision one of section three hundred six of the education  law.  Notwithstanding any  other law, rule or regulation, such transfer shall take effect upon filing of a notice thereof with the  director  of  the  budget  and  the chairs of the senate finance and assembly ways and means committees.
Last Updated: March 9, 2009