<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
RULE §103.1211Active Threat Exercises

(a) An active threat exercise is defined as any exercise that includes a simulated active aggressor or an active shooter simulation.

(b) Local education agencies (LEAs), which include school districts and open-enrollment charter schools, are not required to conduct active threat exercises.

(c) An LEA that elects to conduct an active threat exercise shall do so in accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC), §37.1141, and this section. The LEA shall:

  (1) consider using a discussion-based tabletop exercise as defined in §103.1209 of this title (relating to Mandatory School Drills) to achieve the purpose, goals, and objectives of the exercise rather than using an operations-based, a functional, or a full-scale active threat exercise;

  (2) if conducting an operations-based, a functional, or a full-scale exercise, provide adequate notice of the exercise directly to individuals participating in the exercise, parents of students participating in the exercise, and all other individuals impacted by the exercise. Adequate notice of the active threat exercise shall also be posted through multiple distribution networks, including, but not limited to, the LEA's website and social media platforms.

    (A) To be considered adequate notice, notice shall be provided and posted at least two weeks prior to the exercise.

    (B) The notice shall include the following required elements specified in TEC, §37.1141(a)(1):

      (i) the date on which the exercise will occur;

      (ii) the content, form, and tone of the exercise; and

      (iii) whether the exercise will include a live simulation that mimics or appears to be an actual shooting incident.

    (C) The notice shall be provided to parents in the parents' native language to the greatest extent practicable;

  (3) make an audible announcement over the campus public address system immediately prior to the commencement of the exercise to signal the start of the exercise to the participants, noting that it is only an exercise and not a real emergency. The announcement must contain the elements specified in TEC, §37.1141(a)(2);

  (4) ensure that the content of the exercise, which includes planning and execution of the exercise, addresses the following elements:

    (A) input from multiple stakeholder perspectives in the design of the exercise, including law enforcement personnel;

    (B) the physical and psychological safety of all participants before, during, and after the exercise, including:

      (i) planning in a trauma-informed manner to minimize potential trauma for students, staff, and other participants;

      (ii) the development and communication of a predetermined method for participants to withdraw from the exercise before or during the exercise; and

      (iii) access to mental health supports before, during, and after the exercise; and

    (C) the developmental appropriateness of the exercise, which includes a comprehensive perspective that supports the cognitive and emotional well-being of each individual and considers the impact that prior trauma, grief, and crisis experiences have had on a participant's development prior to the exercise. Developmental appropriateness considerations include the needs of special populations, including students with disabilities and emergent bilingual students;

  (5) conduct the exercise during non-instructional time when non-participants are not present in the facility. Additionally, the LEA must require that:

    (A) if a student participates in the exercise, which is discouraged, the student is in Grade 9 or higher and participates only if it provides the student with an educational benefit;

    (B) all participants (students and staff) opt in rather than opt out of the exercise. A student participant must have written permission to opt in from the parent or guardian of the student;

    (C) exercise participants be permitted to withdraw from the exercise at any time, before or during the exercise, using a predetermined method of withdrawal; and

    (D) the exercise is organized, conducted, and overseen by law enforcement, first responders, or emergency management personnel. An LEA or one of its schools shall play a critical role in exercise coordination, overall function, and use of the facility; and

  (6) conduct an after-action review of the exercise to determine the extent to which the exercise achieved key planning objectives, to include ensuring:

    (A) incident command and control structures work as intended in accordance with the LEA's multihazard emergency operations plan;

    (B) two-way communications work as intended with emergency first responders in accordance with the LEA's multihazard emergency operations plan; and

    (C) emergency notification systems (e.g., voice calls, text messages, and email notifications) work as intended.

(d) In accordance with TEC, §37.1141(c), data regarding the efficacy and impact of an active threat exercise shall be collected and submitted to the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) using the methods developed by the TxSSC.

Source Note: The provisions of this §103.1211 adopted to be effective June 26, 2022, 47 TexReg 3540; amended to be effective October 10, 2023, 48 TexReg 5823

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page