GKA(LEGAL) - COMMUNITY RELATIONS: CONDUCT ON SCHOOL PREMISES
Applicability of Criminal Laws
The criminal laws of the state apply to the areas under the control and jurisdiction of the board. Education Code 37.101
An unauthorized person who trespasses on the grounds of a school district commits a Class C misdemeanor. Education Code 37.107
Refusal of Entry or Ejection of Unauthorized Persons
A school administrator, school resource officer, or school district peace officer may refuse to allow persons to enter on or may eject a person from property under the district's control if the person refuses to leave peaceably on request and:
- The person poses a substantial risk of harm to any person; or
- The person behaves in a manner that is inappropriate for a school setting and:
- The administrator, resource officer, or peace officer issues a verbal warning to the person that the person's behavior is inappropriate and may result in the person's refusal of entry or ejection; and
- The person persists in that behavior.
Identification may be required of any person on property under the district's control.
A district shall maintain a record of each verbal warning issued, including the name of the person to whom the warning was issued and the date of issuance.
At the time a person is refused entry to or ejected from a school district's property, the district shall provide to the person written information explaining the appeal process.
If a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in a school district is refused entry to the district's property, the district shall accommodate the parent or guardian to ensure that the parent or guardian may participate in the child's admission, review, and dismissal committee or in the child's team established under Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Section 794), in accordance with federal law.
The term of a person's refusal of entry to or ejection from a school district's property under this section may not exceed two years.
A district shall post on the district's website and each district campus shall post on any campus website a notice regarding these provisions, including the appeal process.
The board shall adopt a policy that uses the district's existing grievance process [see FNG, GF] to permit a person refused entry to or ejected from property controlled by the district to appeal such refusal of entry or ejection. The policy must permit a person appealing under this section to address the board in person within 90 days of the commencement of the appeal, unless the appeal is granted before the board considers the appeal.
The board's decision to grant or deny an appeal under this section is final and may only be further appealed under the applicable provisions of Texas Education Code 7.057.
Education Code 37.105; 19 TAC 103.1207
Vehicles on School Property
A board may bar or suspend a person from driving or parking a vehicle on any school property as a result of the person's violation of any rule or regulation promulgated by the board or set forth in Education Code Chapter 37, Subchapter D. [See CLC] Education Code 37.106
Disruption of Lawful Assembly
A person commits a Class B misdemeanor if the person, alone or in concert with others, intentionally engages in disruptive activity on the campus or property of a public school.
Disruptive activity means:
- Obstructing or restraining the passage of persons in an exit, entrance, or hallway of any building without the authorization of the administration of the school;
- Seizing control of any building or portion of a building to interfere with any administrative, educational, research, or other authorized activity;
- Preventing or attempting to prevent by force or violence or the threat of violence any lawful assembly authorized by the school administration so that a person attempting to participate in the assembly is unable to participate due to the use of force or violence or due to a reasonable fear that force or violence is likely to occur;
- Disrupting by force or violence or the threat of force or violence a lawful assembly in progress; or
- Obstructing or restraining the passage of any person at an exit or entrance to the campus or property or preventing or attempting to prevent by force or violence or by threats thereof the ingress or egress of any person to or from the property or campus without the authorization of the administration of the school.
This provision shall not be construed to infringe upon any right of free speech or expression guaranteed by the constitutions of the United States or the state of Texas.
Education Code 37.123
Disruption of Classes
A person, other than a primary or secondary grade student enrolled in the school, commits a Class C misdemeanor if the person, on school property or on public property within 500 feet of school property, alone or in concert with others, intentionally disrupts the conduct of classes or other school activities. It is an exception to the application of the offense that, at the time the person engaged in the prohibited conduct, the person was younger than 12 years of age.
Disrupting the conduct of classes or other school activities includes:
- Emitting noise of an intensity that prevents or hinders classroom instruction.
- Enticing or attempting to entice a student away from a class or other school activity that the student is required to attend.
- Preventing or attempting to prevent a student from attending a class or other school activity that the student is required to attend.
- Entering a classroom without the consent of either the principal or the teacher and, through either acts of misconduct or use of loud or profane language, disrupting class activities.
"School property" includes a public school campus or school grounds on which a public school is located, and any grounds or buildings used by a school for an assembly or other school-sponsored activity.
"Public property" includes a street, highway, alley, public park, or sidewalk.
Education Code 37.124
Disruption of Transportation
A person, other than a primary or secondary grade student, commits a Class C misdemeanor if the person intentionally disrupts, prevents, or interferes with the lawful transportation of students to and from school, or to or from activities sponsored by a school, on a vehicle owned and/or operated by a district. It is an exception to the application of the offense that, at the time the person engaged in the prohibited conduct, the person was younger than 12 years of age. Education Code 37.126
Tobacco and E‑Cigarettes
A board shall prohibit smoking or using e‑cigarettes or tobacco products at a school-related or school-sanctioned activity on or off school property. School personnel shall enforce these policies on school property. Education Code 38.006 [See FNCD for the definition of e‑cigarette.]
Smoking in Buildings
A district shall not permit smoking within any indoor facility used for provision of routine or regular kindergarten, elementary, or secondary education or library services to children; or regular or routine health care or day care or early childhood development (Head Start) services to children or for the use of employees who provide such services. 20 U.S.C. 6083; 20 U.S.C. 7183
A person commits an offense if the person is in possession of a burning tobacco product, smokes tobacco, or operates an e‑cigarette in a facility of a public school.
It is a defense to prosecution that a district does not have prominently displayed a reasonably sized notice that smoking is prohibited by state law in such place and that an offense is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
Facilities for Extinguishment
A district shall be equipped with facilities for extinguishment of smoking materials.
Penal Code 48.01(a)–(c)
A board shall prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages at school-related or school-sanctioned activities on or off school property. Education Code 38.007(a) [See FNCF regarding alcohol-free zones.]
A person commits a Class C misdemeanor if the person possesses an intoxicating beverage for consumption, sale, or distribution while:
- On the grounds or in a building of a public school; or
- Entering or inside any enclosure, field, or stadium where any athletic event sponsored or participated in by a public school is being held.
Education Code 37.122 [See also FNCF]
A person may not explode or ignite fireworks within 600 feet of any school unless the person receives authorization in writing from the school. Occupations Code 2154.251(a)(1)
Federal Gun-Free School Zones Act
It is unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.
"School zone" means in, or on the grounds of, a school; or within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a school.
This prohibition does not apply to the possession of a firearm:
- On private property not part of school grounds;
- If the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the state, and the law of the state requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the state verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;
- That is not loaded and in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle;
- By an individual for use in a program approved by a school in the school zone;
- By an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in the school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual;
- By a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity; or
- That is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school premises for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting, if the entry on school premises is authorized by school authorities.
It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or with reckless disregard for the safety of another, to discharge or attempt to discharge a firearm at a place that the person knows is a school zone.
This prohibition does not apply to the discharge of a firearm:
- On private property not part of school grounds;
- As part of a program approved by a school in the school zone, by an individual who is participating in the program;
- By an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in a school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual; or
- By a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity.
18 U.S.C. 921(a)(25), .922(q)
Possession of Weapons
Unless entitled to a defense or otherwise excepted by Penal Code 46.15, a person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, location-restricted knife, club, or prohibited weapon [see FNCG]:
- On the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution;
- On the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress;
- On the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless the person is a participant in the event and a firearm, location-restricted knife, club, or prohibited weapon is used in the event;
- In the room or rooms where a meeting of a governmental entity is held, if the meeting is an open meeting subject to the OMA, and the entity provided required notice of the meeting.
It is not a defense to prosecution that the person possessed a handgun and was licensed to carry a handgun.
Penal Code 46.03(a)(1), (2), (8), (14), (f)
"Premises," for purposes of this policy, means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area. Penal Code 46.03(c)(4)
Notice to Public
A district may provide notice that firearms and other weapons are prohibited under Penal Code 46.03 on the premises or other property, as applicable, by posting a sign at each entrance to the premises or other property that:
- Includes language that is identical to or substantially similar to the following: "Pursuant to Section 46.03, Penal Code (places weapons prohibited), a person may not carry a firearm or other weapon on this property";
- Includes the language described above in both English and Spanish;
- Appears in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height; and
- Is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.
Penal Code 46.15(m)–(o)
Transportation or Storage of Firearm in School Parking Area
A district may not prohibit a person who holds a license to carry a handgun under Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter H, from transporting or storing a handgun or other firearm or ammunition in a locked, privately owned or leased motor vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area provided by the district, and may not regulate the manner in which the handgun, firearm, or ammunition is stored in the vehicle, provided that the handgun, firearm, or ammunition is not in plain view.
This does not authorize a person to possess, transport, or store a handgun, a firearm, or ammunition in violation of Education Code 37.125, Penal Code 46.03, or other law.
Education Code 37.0815
Volunteer Emergency Services Personnel
A district is not liable in a civil action arising from the discharge of a handgun by an individual who is volunteer emergency services personnel and licensed to carry the handgun under Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter H.
The discharge of a handgun by an individual who is volunteer emergency services personnel and licensed to carry the handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, is outside the course and scope of the individual's duties as volunteer emergency services personnel.
The district does not waive immunity from suit or liability under the Texas Tort Claims Act or any other law.
"Volunteer emergency services personnel" includes a volunteer firefighter, an emergency medical services volunteer as defined by Health and Safety Code 773.003, and any individual who, as a volunteer, provides services for the benefit of the general public during emergency situations. The term does not include a peace officer or reserve law enforcement officer, as those terms are defined by Occupations Code 1701.001, who is performing law enforcement duties.
Civil Practice & Remedies Code 112.001; Penal Code 46.01(18)
Exhibition of Firearm
A person commits a third degree felony if, in a manner intended to cause alarm or personal injury to another person or to damage school property, the person intentionally:
- Exhibits or uses a firearm:
- In or on any property, including a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area, that is owned by a private or public school; or
- On a school bus being used to transport children to and from school-sponsored activities;
- Threatens to exhibit or use a firearm in or on property described above or on a bus and was in possession of or had immediate access to the firearm.
A person commits a Class A misdemeanor if the person threatens to exhibit or use a firearm, but was not in possession of or did not have immediate access to the firearm.
Education Code 37.125
Trespass—Concealed Carry of Handgun
A license holder commits an offense if the license holder:
- Carries a concealed handgun on the property of another without effective consent; and
- Received notice that entry on the property by a license holder with a concealed handgun was forbidden.
An offense under Penal Code 30.06 is a Class C misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if, after entering the property, the license holder was personally given the notice that entry or remaining on the property with a concealed handgun was forbidden and subsequently failed to depart.
Notice / Sign—Concealed Carry of Handgun
For purposes of Penal Code 30.06, a person receives notice if the owner of the property or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner provides notice to the person by oral or written communication.
"Written communication" means:
- A card or other document on which is written language identical to the following: "Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun"; or
- A sign posted on the property that includes the language described above in both English and Spanish, appears in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height, and is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.
It is an exception to Penal Code 30.06 that the property on which the license holder carries a concealed handgun is owned or leased by a district and is not a premises or other place on which the license holder is prohibited from carrying the handgun under Penal Code 46.03.
Penal Code 30.06 [See also FNCG]
A district may not take any action, including an action consisting of the provision of notice, by a communication described by Penal Code 30.06 or 30.07 that states or implies that a license holder who is carrying a handgun under the authority of Government Code Chapter 411 is prohibited from entering or remaining on a premises or other place owned or leased by the district unless license holders are prohibited from carrying a handgun on the premises or other place by Penal Code 46.03 or other law. Gov't Code 411.209
Trespass—Open Carry of Handgun
A holder of a license to openly carry a handgun commits an offense if the license holder:
- Openly carries a handgun on property of another without effective consent; and
- Received notice that entry on the property by a license holder openly carrying a handgun was forbidden.
Notice / Sign—Open Carry of Handgun
For purposes of Penal Code 30.07, a person receives notice if the owner of the property or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner provides notice to the person by oral or written communication.
"Written communication means":
- A card or other document on which is written language identical to the following: "Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a handgun that is carried openly"; or
- A sign posted on the property that includes the language described above in both English and Spanish, appears in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height, and is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public at each entrance to the property.
An offense under Penal Code 30.07 is a Class C misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if, after entering the property, the license holder was personally given the notice by oral communication that entry or remaining on the property with an openly carried handgun was forbidden and subsequently failed to depart.
It is an exception to Penal Code 30.07 that the property on which the license holder openly carries the handgun is owned or leased by a governmental entity and is not a premises or other place on which the license holder is prohibited from carrying the handgun under Penal Code 46.03.
Penal Code 30.07
Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Note: For provisions applicable to the use of drones for law enforcement purposes, see CKEA
The U.S. Government has exclusive sovereignty of airspace of the United States. 49 U.S.C. 40103
Small Unmanned Aircraft
"Small unmanned aircraft" means an unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds on takeoff, including everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft.
Small Unmanned Aircraft System
"Small unmanned aircraft system" (small UAS) means a small unmanned aircraft and its associated elements (including communication links and the components that control the small unmanned aircraft) that are required for the safe and efficient operation of the small unmanned aircraft in the national airspace system.
14 C.F.R. 1.1, 107.3
Operation of Small UAS
The registration, airman certification, and operation of civil small UAS within the United States is subject to 14 C.F.R. Part 107. Part 107 does not apply to the following:
- Air carrier operations;
- Any aircraft subject to the provisions of 14 C.F.R. Part 101;
- Any operation that a remote pilot in command elects to conduct pursuant to an exemption issued under 49 U.S.C. 44807, unless otherwise specified in the exemption; or
- Any operation that a person elects to conduct under 14 C.F.R. Part 91 with a small UAS that has been issued an airworthiness certificate.
14 C.F.R. 107.1
Exception for Limited Recreational Operation
A person may operate a small unmanned aircraft without specific certification or operating authority from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) if the operation adheres to all of the following limitations:
- The aircraft is flown strictly for recreational purposes.
- The aircraft is operated in accordance with or within the programming of a community-based organization's set of safety guidelines that are developed in coordination with the FAA.
- The aircraft is flown within the visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft or a visual observer co-located and in direct communication with the operator.
- The aircraft is operated in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft.
- In Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport, the operator obtains prior authorization from the administrator of the FAA or designee before operating and complies with all airspace restrictions and prohibitions.
- In Class G airspace, the aircraft is flown from the surface to not more than 400 feet above ground level and complies with all airspace restrictions and prohibitions.
- The operator has passed an aeronautical knowledge and safety test and maintains proof of test passage to be made available to the FAA or law enforcement upon request.
- The aircraft is registered and marked in accordance with 49 U.S.C. Chapter 441 and proof of registration is made available to the FAA or law enforcement upon request.
49 U.S.C. 44809(a)
A political subdivision, including a school district, may not adopt or enforce any ordinance, order, or other similar measure regarding the operation of an unmanned aircraft. An ordinance, order, or other similar measure that violates this provision is void and unenforceable. Gov't Code 423.009(b), (d)
A political subdivision may adopt and enforce an ordinance, order, or other similar measure regarding:
- The use of an unmanned aircraft during a special event;
- The political subdivision's use of an unmanned aircraft; or
- The use of an unmanned aircraft near a facility or infrastructure owned by the political subdivision, if the political subdivision:
- Applies for and receives authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to adopt the regulation; and
- After providing reasonable notice, holds a public hearing on the political subdivision's intent to apply for the authorization.
"Special event" means a festival, celebration, or other gathering that involves the reservation and temporary use of all or a portion of a public park, road, or other property of a political subdivision; and entertainment, the sale of merchandise, food, or beverages, or mass participation in a sports event; and requires a significant use or coordination of a political subdivision's services.
Gov't Code 423.009(a)(2), (c)
It is lawful to capture an image using an unmanned aircraft in this state for the reasons listed in Government Code 423.002, including:
- With the consent of the individual who owns or lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image; or
- From a height no more than eight feet above ground level in a public place, if the image was captured without using any electronic, mechanical, or other means to amplify the image beyond normal human perception.
Gov't Code 423.002(a)