The Grapevine-Colleyville ISD board unanimously approved changes to the student code of conduct Aug. 28. During the discussion on the matter, several board members said more should be done to communicate to families about the severity of these changes that took effect Sept. 1.

The details

According to district documents, minor changes were needed to the Texas Education Code 37.001(a), which requires each school district to adopt a student code of conduct that specifies standards for student conduct and outlines prohibited behaviors. These changes came as a result of updates at the state level that occurred during the 88th legislative session, which include the following:
  • House Bill 114 requires mandatory placement in a disciplinary alternative education program, also known as a DAEP, for selling, giving, delivering, possessing, using or being under the influence of marijuana, THC or an e-cigarette within 300 feet of school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property.
  • HB 3928 amends Chapter 37 to require the district to provide information to a student’s parent about the process for requesting a full individual and initial evaluation of the student for purposes of special education services when a student is placed for a mandatory DAEP offense.
  • House Bill 1427 expands the offense of harassment under Penal Code 42.07 to include making obscene, intimidating or threatening telephone calls or other electronic communications from a temporary or disposable telephone number provided by an internet application or other technological means.
What they’re saying

Board members were concerned that students and parents were not fully aware of the gravity of these changes, especially when it came to HB 114.

“Parents need to be very cognizant of what the consequences of HB 114 are,” Trustee Becky St. John said. “We could find most of our student activities pretty empty and the DAEP very full.”

St. John said if a student is caught vaping or engaged in other activities listed in HB 114, the student will spend 10 school days in the DAEP for the first offense.

“You’re missing 10 days out of your [Advanced Placement] class,” St. John said. “You’re missing 10 days out of your [career and technical education] class. You’re missing two football games and all those practices. So how are we getting this information out to parents? Because this is huge.”

In her response to St. John, Chief of Schools Holly Ray said the information regarding these changes was in the back-to-school information given to families, complete with graphics and a QR code with a direct link to HB 114. Ray also said students were given presentations about the consequences of vaping on campus or at a school-related activity.

“We still have continued communication to do; there is no doubt about that,” Ray said. “But that is the beginning of our communication to let students and parents know how serious the consequences are.”

Trustee Diana Sager, who was the head girls basketball coach at Colleyville Heritage High School from 2002-22, said student athletes could be among the most heavily impacted due to missing part of their sports season. She also expressed her concern about district communication and her belief that students haven’t realized the severity of the new punishment under HB 114.

“It used to be when you were vaping, it was three days in [in-school suspension],” Sager said. “I can guarantee you that not every student in GCISD understands exactly what’s going to happen.”

GCISD Executive Director of Communications Nicole Lyons talked about what’s been done so far in terms of communication on the new vaping rules along with what can be done to continue the discussion with students and families.

“We have asked our principals to put it in their weekly newsletters for the next few months then as needed after that,” Lyons said. “We’ll do another reminder to campus principals to ask their teachers to continue to share so it is trickling down and the message is being disseminated through everybody.”