Navigating school safety issues

February 28, 2018 ACSA Partner
ACSA is dedicated to providing administrators with expertise and content on the most relevant issues in the world of education, including student protests and school walkouts. The following content has been provided by Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo (AALRR), an ACSA partner. You can also read or download the full PDF version.

School security personnel

Discussion of school security training mandated by SB1626 and Education Code section 38001.5:

Which personnel must be trained?

  • Personnel working 20 hours or more per week as a school security officer.
  • School security must be a primary job function. These functions are defined as: providing security services as a watchperson, security guard, or patrolperson, on or about premise owned or operated by a school district to protect persons or property, to prevent theft or unlawful taking of district property of any kind, or to report any unlawful activity to the district and local law enforcement agencies.
  • Applicable to school security personnel hired on or after July 1, 2000. (Must have the training prior to their employment)
  • Applicable to school security personnel employed before July 1, 2000. (Training must be completed by July 1, 2002)

What qualifications are required for an individual to conduct the training?

  • SB 1626 does not establish criteria for instructors of the course. Any person designated by a school district may teach the course. It is recommended that school districts use POST-certified instructors or trainers from local law enforcement academies and police agencies, i.e. a School Resource Officer provided to the District by a local law enforcement agency.

Which, if any, regulatory agency enforces the training requirement?

  • Currently we are unaware of any regulatory agency overseeing the training requirement.
  • The Department of Education is currently not enforcing the training requirement.
  • Currently, the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, lacks the authority to regulate school districts.

Safety and security bargaining do's and dont's

Don’t initiate negotiation on these issues, but be prepared to respond to union proposals.

  • While there has been a lot of media attention surrounding school security, workplace violence, and safety issues, we are currently unaware of a great deal of interest by unions to negotiate these issues into collective bargaining agreements.

If a safety/security issue is initiated by a union at the District, make sure that District negotiators:

  • Have a thorough understanding of the issue, including whether the issue in within the scope of bargaining.
  • Have a thorough understanding of the legal requirements that the District must comply with regarding the issue.
  • Have a thorough understanding of the cost of any negotiated requirement and what, if any, funding is available from the state and/or federal government to pay for the requirement.
  • If these conditions are not satisfied, the District is not ready to negotiate. Try to table the issue so that the District can gain a thorough understanding of the issue, then negotiate with the union.

If an issue related to safety/security arises, try to negotiate a general statement regarding a safe and secure work place, rather than specific mandates.

If a safety or security issue is mandated by statute, try to avoid including it in the collective bargaining agreement, since this only gives bargaining unit members an additional issue to grieve.

If specific security/safety issues are to be included in the collective bargaining agreement, attempt to exempt the provision from the grievance procedure.

This AALRR publication is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in reaching a conclusion in a particular area of law. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Receipt of this or any other AALRR publication does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Firm is not responsible for inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process.

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