EHBK(LEGAL) - SPECIAL PROGRAMS: OTHER INSTRUCTIONAL INITIATIVES
Mandatory Recognition Dates
A district shall regularly observe the following recognition days, weeks, and months by appropriate programs, celebrations, and activities:
Women's Independence Day
August 26: Women's Independence Day, to commemorate the ratification in 1920 of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote. Women's Independence Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate programs in the public schools to inspire a greater appreciation of the importance of women's suffrage. Gov't Code 662.051
Hydrocephalus Awareness Month
September: Hydrocephalus Awareness Month, to:
- Increase public awareness of hydrocephalus, a serious neurological condition characterized by the abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluids in the ventricles of the brain; and
- Encourage the development of partnerships between the federal government, health-care professionals, and patient advocacy groups to advance the public's understanding of the condition, improve the diagnosis and treatment of the condition, and support research for a cure.
Hydrocephalus Awareness Month shall be regularly observed by appropriate activities in public schools to increase awareness of hydrocephalus.
Gov't Code 662.106
Texas First Responders Day
September 11: Texas First Responders Day, in honor of the bravery, courage, and determination of Texas men and women who assist others in emergencies. Texas First Responders Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies in the public schools to honor Texas first responders. A district may determine the appropriate ceremonies by which Texas observes Texas First Responders Day. Gov't Code 662.050
September 11: To commemorate the events of September 11, 2001, in each year that date falls on a regular school day, each public elementary and secondary school shall provide for the observance of one minute of silence at the beginning of the first class period of that day. Immediately before the required period of observance, the class instructor shall make a statement of reference to the memory of individuals who died on September 11, 2001. The required period of observance may be held in conjunction with the minute of silence required by Education Code 25.082. [See EC] Education Code 25.0821
September 17: A district that receives federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution for the students served by the district. Pub. L. 108-447 (2004)
Celebrate Freedom Week
Week of September 17: Celebrate Freedom Week, to educate students about the sacrifices made for freedom in the founding of this country and the values on which this country was founded. Education Code 29.907
Each social studies class shall include, during Celebrate Freedom Week or during another full school week as determined by the board, appropriate instruction concerning the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, in their historical context.
The study of the Declaration of Independence must include the study of the relationship of the ideas expressed in that document to subsequent American history, including the relationship of its ideas to the rich diversity of our people as a nation of immigrants, the American Revolution, the formulation of the United States Constitution, and the abolitionist movement, which led to the Emancipation Proclamation and the women's suffrage movement.
19 TAC 74.33(a)
Each district shall require that, during Celebrate Freedom Week or other prescribed week of instruction, students in grades 3–12 study and recite the following text: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their Just Powers from the Consent of the Governed."
Each district shall excuse from recitation a student:
- Whose parent or guardian submits to the district a written request that the student be excused;
- Who, as determined by the district, has a conscientious objection to the recitation; or
- Who is the child of a representative of a foreign government to whom the United States government extends diplomatic immunity.
19 TAC 74.33(b), .36
American Indian Heritage Day
The last Friday in September is in recognition of the historic, cultural, and social contributions American Indian communities and leaders have made to Texas. American Indian Heritage Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs in public schools to honor American Indians in Texas and to celebrate the rich traditional and contemporary American Indian culture. Gov't Code 662.056
Father of Texas Day
November 3: Father of Texas Day, in memory of Stephen F. Austin, the great pioneer patriot and the real and true Father of Texas. Father of Texas Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate and patriotic programs in the public schools to properly commemorate the birthday of Stephen F. Austin and to inspire a greater love for this beloved state. Gov't Code 662.045
Sam Rayburn Day
January 6: Sam Rayburn Day, in memory of that great Texas and American statesman, Sam Rayburn. Sam Rayburn Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate programs in the public schools to commemorate the birthday of Sam Rayburn. Gov't Code 662.041
State of Texas Anniversary Remembrance Day
February 19: State of Texas Anniversary Remembrance Day (STAR Day), in honor of Texas joining the Union and the day that James Pinckney Henderson became the first governor of the state of Texas in 1846. STAR Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate and patriotic programs in the public schools to properly commemorate the annexation of this state and to inspire a greater appreciation for the history of this state. Gov't Code 662.047
Texas History Month
March: Texas History Month, in honor of those Texans who helped shape the history of the state of Texas and in recognition of events throughout Texas's history. Texas History Month shall be regularly observed by appropriate celebrations and activities in public schools to promote interest in and knowledge of Texas history. Gov't Code 662.102
Public School Paraprofessional Day
The second Wednesday in May: Public School Paraprofessional Day, in recognition of education paraprofessionals including teacher assistants, instructional aides, educational trainers, library attendants, bilingual assistants, special education associates, mentors, and tutors. Public School Paraprofessional Day shall be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies and activities in the public schools to properly recognize the paraprofessionals who have made tremendous contributions to the educational process. Gov't Code 662.049
Texas Military Heroes Day
To educate students about the sacrifices made by brave Texans who have served in the armed forces of the United States, the governor shall designate a day to be known as Texas Military Heroes Day in public schools.
Texas Military Heroes Day shall include appropriate instruction, as determined by each district. Instruction may include:
- Information about persons who have served in the armed forces of the United States and are from the community or the geographic area in which the district is located; and
- Participation, in person or using technology, in age-appropriate learning projects at battlefields and gravesites associated with a person who has served in the armed forces.
Education Code 29.9071
Generation Texas Week
Each district offering middle school, junior high school, or high school grade levels shall designate one week during the school year as Generation Texas Week. During the designated week, each middle school, junior high school, and high school shall provide students with comprehensive grade-appropriate information about the pursuit of higher education, including:
- Higher education options;
- Standard admission requirements for institutions of higher education, including:
- Overall high school grade point average;
- Required curriculum;
- College readiness standards and expectations as determined under Education Code 28.008; and
- Scores necessary on generally recognized tests or assessment instruments used in admissions determinations, including the Scholastic Assessment Test and the American College Test;
- Automatic admission of certain students to general academic teaching institutions under Education Code 51.803 [see EIC]; and
- Financial aid availability and requirements, including the financial aid information provided by counselors under Education Code 33.007(b) [see FFEA].
In addition, each middle school, junior high school, and high school shall provide to students at least one public speaker to promote the importance of higher education.
Education Code 29.911
Optional Recognition Dates
In addition, a district may observe the following recognition days, weeks, or months, by appropriate celebrations and activities:
Dr. Hector P. Garcia Day
Third Wednesday of September: Dr. Hector P. Garcia Day, in memory of the significant contributions to the Mexican American civil rights movement of Dr. Hector P. Garcia, a distinguished physician and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the founder of the American GI Forum, which promotes civil rights protection of Hispanic veterans and all Americans. Dr. Garcia, a World War II hero, was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with six battle stars in recognition of his meritorious service to the United States. Dr. Hector P. Garcia Day may be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies and activities in the public schools to properly commemorate the importance of the contributions made by Dr. Garcia. Gov't Code 662.055
Persons with Disabilities History and Awareness Month
October: Persons with Disabilities History and Awareness Month, to increase public awareness of the many achievements of people with disabilities; encourage public understanding of the disability rights movement; and reaffirm the local, state, and federal commitment to providing equality and inclusion for people with disabilities. A district may elect to observe Persons with Disabilities History and Awareness Month and determine the appropriate activities by which the school observes Persons with Disabilities History and Awareness Month. Gov't Code 662.109
Texas Native Plant Week
Third week in October: Texas Native Plant Week, to celebrate the native plants of Texas. Texas Native Plant Week may be regularly observed in public schools with programs to appreciate, explore, and study Texas native plants. Gov't Code 662.154
Lung Cancer Awareness Month
November: Lung Cancer Awareness Month, to increase awareness of lung cancer and encourage funding of research and more effective treatments. Lung Cancer Awareness Month may be regularly observed by appropriate activities in public schools to increase the awareness of lung cancer and support for lung cancer research. Gov't Code 662.104
Human Trafficking Prevention Month
January: Human Trafficking Prevention Month, to increase awareness of human trafficking in an effort to encourage people to alert authorities to any suspected incidents involving human trafficking. Human Trafficking Prevention Month may be regularly observed through appropriate activities in public schools and other places to increase awareness and prevention of human trafficking. Gov't Code 662.107
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
January 9: Law Enforcement Appreciation Day may be regularly observed in public schools and other places through appropriate activities. Gov't Code 662.065
Iwo Jima Day
February 19: Iwo Jima Day, in memory of the heroism and courage of the men and women of the armed forces of the United States who participated in the successful capture of the island of Iwo Jima beginning February 19, 1945. Iwo Jima Day may be regularly observed through appropriate activities in public schools and other places. Gov't Code 662.062
Child Safety Month
April: Child Safety Month, in recognition of the children of this state as this state's most precious resource. Child Safety Month is meant to ensure that the children of this state grow up in a safe and supportive environment by promoting their protection and care through increased public awareness of ways to reduce accidental injury and death through the use of bicycle helmets, seat belts, safety and booster seats, and smoke alarms, and the dangers presented to children by unattended and unlocked vehicles and by being left in closed vehicles during hot or sunny weather. Child Safety Month may be regularly observed by appropriate celebrations and activities in public schools to promote the protection and care of children in this state. Gov't Code 662.105
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April: Sexual Assault Awareness Month, to increase awareness and prevention of sexual assault. Sexual Assault Awareness Month may be regularly observed through appropriate activities in public schools and other places to increase awareness and prevention of sexual assault. Gov't Code 662.111
A district may provide a character education program, which must:
- Stress positive character traits, such as:
- Trustworthiness, including honesty, reliability, punctuality, and loyalty;
- Respect and courtesy;
- Responsibility, including accountability, diligence, perseverance, and self-control;
- Fairness, including justice and freedom from prejudice;
- Caring, including kindness, empathy, compassion, consideration, patience, generosity, and charity;
- Good citizenship, including patriotism, concern for the common good and the community, and respect for authority and the law; and
- School pride;
- Use integrated teaching strategies; and
- Be age appropriate.
In developing or selecting a character education program under this section, a school district shall consult with a committee selected by the district that consists of parents of district students, educators, and other members of the community, including community leaders.
The provisions above do not require or authorize proselytizing or indoctrinating concerning any specific religious or political belief.
Education Code 29.906
An election for the participation of students in kindergarten through grade 12 may be held in conjunction with a general, special, or primary election. The student election may be ordered by:
- The commissioners court, for a student election held in conjunction with an election ordered by the governor or a county authority;
- The governing body of a political subdivision, for a student election held in conjunction with an election of the political subdivision; or
- The county executive committee, for a student election held in conjunction with a primary election.
A student election may be held only on election day or the day before election day.
The authority ordering a student election shall specify in the order each grade that may participate in the election. A student in a specified grade may enter a precinct polling place for the purpose of casting an unofficial ballot in the student election on the same offices and measures that appear on the official ballot.
The election officers serving in the official election may not serve in the student election. The authority ordering a student election shall appoint a separate set of election officers to conduct the student election, supervise the participating students, and tabulate and report the results of that election. The authority ordering a student election shall make the results of that election available to the public but only after the polling places are closed on election day.
Expenses incurred in the conduct of a student election, including any personnel expenses, may be paid only from private grant funds or donations.
Election Code 276.007