Mental Health Counselors, Police Added To School Safety Plans

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation asking schools to include mental health counselors and school police officers in their school safety plans.

California school districts already are required to write comprehensive school safety plans. The legislation Brown announced signing Monday, AB549, recommends that schools include clear guidelines for counselors and officers to create a positive school climate and promote school safety.

The bill by Democratic Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer of Los Angeles encourages schools to prioritize mental health and intervention services as well as positive-behavior intervention over punitive measures such as expulsion.

There is no penalty for failing to comply, although school districts can be fined up to $2,000 for willfully failing to create a safety plan.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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