The Healthy and Safe Environment supports a total learning experience that promotes personal growth, healthy interpersonal relationships, wellness, and freedom from discrimination and abuse within a healthy physical environment.

The Healthy and Safe Environment component promotes:
  • Safety procedures and appropriate training for students and staff that support personal safety, and a violence / harassment-free environment;
  • School building and grounds, structures, buses and equipment that meet current standards and are kept inviting, clean, safe, and in good repair;
  • An environment where students, parents, and staff feel accepted and valued, and high expectations are set for personal behavior and accomplishments;
  • Dedication of resources to both student and staff development;
  • "Global" citizenship through environmental awareness and peer monitoring programs/activities that act locally in the school community;
  • and School policies which create an environment free of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.

Goal: Promote a healthy and safe environment before, during, and after school for all.

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School Health Rules on a Healthy & Safe Environment

Safe and Orderly Environment

6.29.1 NMAC STANDARDS FOR EXCELLENCE GENERAL PROVISIONS:

  • Standards for Excellence General Provisions contains the requirements, educational standards and student expectations in public schools.  Specific to school safety, Standards for Excellence General Provisions requires:
    • Safe and Orderly Environment.  Schools must provide a safe, clean, well maintained, orderly, and purposeful environment with an atmosphere that is conducive to teaching and learning.
    • Practice of Emergency drills including fire, shelter-in-place and evacuation drills.
Safe Schools

6.12.6 NMAC SCHOOL DISTRICT WELLNESS POLICY:

  • This rule requires local school districts to adopt wellness policies that include school safety plans at each school building focused on supporting healthy and safe environments and including but not necessarily limited to:
    • Prevention,
    • Policies and procedures,
    • Tactical emergency response plan; and
    • Recovery.
Gun Free Schools

6.11.2 NMAC RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND PUBIC SCHOOL STUDENTS

  • This rule is based on the requirement of the federal Gun Free Schools Act which requires state and local school districts to have policies concerning weapons.  This rule requires:
    • Each school district to adopt a policy providing for the expulsion from school, for a period of not less than one year, of any student who is determined to have knowingly brought a weapon to school.  The local school board or the superintendent of the school district may modify the expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis.
Persistently Dangerous Schools

6.19.3 NMAC UNSAFE SCHOOL CHOICE OPTION:

  • No Child Left Behind Act states that a student attending a persistently dangerous school, or who becomes a victim of a violent criminal offense, as determined by state law, while in or on the grounds of a public school that the student attends, should be allowed to attend a safe public school within the school district, including a public charter school.  This rule establishes the definitions and criteria for identifying persistently dangerous schools in New Mexico.
  • Reporting Incidents of Violence: 6.11.2.10 NMAC (2000) gives administrative authority the discretion, unless a local board policy provides otherwise, to notify law enforcement, the local Children's Court attorney, or district attorney when a search discloses evidence of a crime or delinquent act.
  • Emergency Drills

6.29.1 NMAC STANDARDS FOR EXCELLENCE GENERAL PROVISIONS:

  • Standards for Excellence General Provisions contains the requirements, educational standards and student expectations in public schools.  Specific to emergency drills, Standards for Excellence General Provisions requires:
    • Districts to develop and practice emergency drills including fire drills, evacuation drills, and shelter-in-place drills  These emergency drills shall consist of nine fire drills, two shelter-in-place drills, and one evacuation drill.
Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Free School Districts

6.12.4 TOBACCO, ALCOHOL, AND DRUG FREE SCHOOL DISTRICTS:

  • Each local school board is required to implement a policy that includes:
    • Prohibiting tobacco, alcoholic beverage possession or use, and illicit drug possession or use by students, school staff, parents, and school visitors in school buildings, on school property, and at school functions away from school property;
    • Procedures for communicating this policy to students, school staff, parents, school visitors and the community; and
    • Provisions for enforcement of this policy.
  • NMSA 24-16-1 (2007) makes it unlawful for a person to smoke in any indoor workplace or indoor public place, the definitions of which cover public and private schools.  Smoking is also prohibited near entrances, windows and ventilation systems of public places where smoking is prohibited.
Pest Control

6.29.1 NMAC STANDARDS FOR EXCELLENCE GENERAL PROVISIONS:

  • Standards for Excellence General Provisions contains the requirements, educational standards and student expectations in public schools.  Specific to use of pesticides, Standards for Excellence General Provisions requires:
    • Districts are required to develop procedures for the implementation of pest management with consideration for reducing the possible impact of pesticide use on human health and the environment, including people with special sensitivities to pesticides.
Bullying Prevention:

6.12.7 NMAC BULLYING PREVENTION:

  • This rule requires school districts and charter schools to develop and implement a policy that addresses bullying.  The policy must include but is not limited to:
    • Definitions;
    • An absolute prohibition against bullying;
    • A method to ensure initial and annual dissemination of the anti-bullying policy to all students, parents, teachers, administrators and all other school or district employees;
    • Procedures for reporting incidents of bullying which ensure confidentiality to those reporting bullying incidents and protection from reprisal, retaliation or false accusation against victims, witnesses or others with information regarding a bullying incident; and
    • Consequences for bullying which include consideration of compliance with state and federal IDEA requirements; consequences for knowingly making false reports pursuant to the anti-bullying policy; procedures for investigation by administration of incidents reported pursuant to the anti-bullying policy; and a requirement that teachers and other school staff report any incidents of bullying.
  • This rule also requires local school districts and charter schools to include anti-bullying as part of the health education curriculum as set forth in 6.29.6 NMAC (“content standards - health education”).