SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of February 3, 2014
Title: An act relating to a policy and procedures for notifying parents that their child was injured on school property.
Brief Description: Requiring a policy and procedures for notifying parents that their child was injured on school property.
Sponsors: Senators Kohl-Welles, Darneille, Chase, Hasegawa, McCoy and Keiser.
Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 1/31/14.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION
Staff: Katherine Taylor (786-7434)
Background: According to statute, the Washington State School Directors' Association (WSSDA) was created out of a public necessity for the coordination of programs and procedures pertaining to policymaking and to control and management among the school districts of the state.
There are 295 school districts in the state of Washington.
RCW 28A.400.317 pertains to school employees' duty to report physical abuse or sexual misconduct by school employees and RCW 28A.320.160 pertains to alleged sexual misconduct by school employees and the school district's duty to notify parents.
Summary of Bill: The bill as referred to committee not considered.
Summary of Bill (Proposed Substitute): WSSDA must update its model policy and procedures that require a school that receives a report that a student was physically injured on school property to notify the injured student's parents or guardians. The policy must address the following:
what qualify as acceptable forms of notification;
the duration of time the school has to perform the notification after receiving a report;
who at the school will perform the notification;
at what point the obligation to notify has been satisfied by the school;
a definition of school property; and
what qualifies as physical injury.
By August 1, 2015, each school district must adopt a policy and procedures that at a minimum incorporates WSSDA's updated model policy and procedures that require a school that receives a report that a student was physically injured on school property to notify the injured student's parents or guardians. It is the responsibility of each school district to share its policy on an annual basis with parents or guardians, students, volunteers, and school employees.
WSSDA must submit the model policy and procedures to all school districts, the Governor, and the Legislature and must post the model policy and procedures on its website by January 1, 2015.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: OTHER: This is common sense and it is in the school's best interest. But if we put this into policy there will be problematic issues. It is hard to know what injuries are appropriate to notify parents about. There could be issues with what qualify as school grounds. What is the difference between injury and illness? There will be unintended consequences of this bill.
Persons Testifying: OTHER: Jerry Bender, Assn. of WA School Principals.