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Home » Student Success » Health & Safety » School Safety » School Safety and Security Staff Program

School Safety and Security Staff Program

Second Substitute House Bill 1216 (2019–20) Session Law(link is external) created requirements and definitions around an optional School Resource Officer (SRO) Program. The Program was codified into state law as RCW 28A.320.124(link is external).

Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1214 (2021–22) Session Law(link is external) expanded and clarified the previous legislation to include all school safety and security staff personnel. Thus, the name of the SRO Program has been expanded to the School Safety and Security Staff Program.

The legislature notes that schools should be a place in which all youth feel safe. With racial equity as a central component of safety and security planning, it is imperative that all school safety and security staff not contribute to an unsafe environment for Black youth and youth of color.

Safety and Security Staff is a new HB 1214 (2021–22) category of classified staff. It is defined as SROs, school security officers (SSOs), campus security officers (CSOs), and any other commissioned or noncommissioned employees or contractors whose primary job duty is to provide safety or security services for a public school.

School Resource Officer (SRO) is a commissioned law enforcement officer in WA with sworn authority to make arrests, deployed in community-oriented policing, and assigned by the employing police department or sheriff's office to work in schools to build positive relationships with students, and address crime and disorder problems, gangs, and drug activities affecting or occurring in or around K-12 schools. SROs focus on keeping students out of the criminal justice system when possible and should not be used in school disciplinary matters which are more appropriately handled within the educational system. SROs are not school district employees, but rather are employed by the law enforcement agency which has a contractual arrangement with that district. An SRO is a commissioned law enforcement officer working for a law enforcement agency. However, not all law enforcement officers are SROs. It is important to understand that when law enforcement is needed at a school, the responding officer may or may not be the school’s SRO and may not be an SRO at all.

School Security Officer and Campus Security Officer are terms frequently used to identify classified school district employees employed to perform school safety-related functions similar to those of SROs. SSOs and CSOs are district employees, are not commissioned law enforcement officers, and cannot make arrests.

Contracted Security Personnel are licensed professionals who work for private security companies and provide safety or security services for a public school on a contractual basis. Contracted security personnel have met prior training requirements to function in their school safety and security capacity.  The Department of Licensing licenses security guards and security companies.

School safety and security staff training requirements include completion of training on all 13 mandated topics within 6 months of starting the position. Requirements also include two days of on the job training and six check-ins with identified, experienced staff.

SRO training requirements include completion of training on all 13 mandated topics within 6 months of employment as an SRO. Requirements also include two days of on the job training.

13 mandated training topics:

  • Constitutional and civil rights of children in schools, including state law governing search and interrogation of youth in schools
  • Child and adolescent development
  • Trauma-informed approaches to working with youth
  • Recognizing and responding to youth mental health issues
  • Educational rights of students with disabilities, and best practices for interacting with students with disabilities
  • Collateral consequences of arrest, referral for prosecution, and court involvement
  • Community resources that serve as alternatives to arrest and prosecution
  • Local and national disparities in the use of force and arrests of children
  • De-escalation techniques when working with youth or groups of youth
  • State law regarding restraint and isolation in schools
  • Bias free policing and cultural competency
  • Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requirements
  • Restorative Practices

ESDs are required to develop and administer an annual safety and security staff training program that meets the training requirements. Classroom training can be done remotely or in-person, synchronously or asynchronously. Trainings may be provided on a fee-for-service basis and should be self-supporting.

ESDs must also develop and publish guidelines for on-the-job training, check-in training, and verify and provide documentation that training has been completed.

School districts with School Safety and Security Staff Programs are required to annually collect data on their program and submit that data to OSPI. The basic data to be collected includes:

  • Total number of safety and security staff working in the district
  • Number of staff in each school building
  • Number of days per week that each staff works
  • Name of any law enforcement agency or private organization which provides personnel
  • A description of each incident where this staff was involved that resulted in student discipline, use of force against a student, or a student arrest
  • Demographic information about the student
  • Number of complaints filed against this staff

OSPI may add a requirement for other information about the program.

In addition to the information above, school districts must annually submit any agreements required by this act to OSPI.

Districts with School Safety and Security Staff Programs are required to have a policy and procedures in place regarding their program. Washington State School Directors' Association (WSSDA) created Washington's Model Policy.

WSSDA Model Policy 4311

Districts with School Safety and Security Staff Programs are required to annually review and adopt an agreement with the law enforcement agency or security guard company. The agreement must be adopted using a process that involves parents, students, and community members. The agreement must:

  • Meet the requirements in the policy and procedure
  • Include a jointly determined hiring and placement process and a performance evaluation process
  • Confirm the staff have completed the training series, or a plan to complete the training series
  • Be annually submitted to OSPI and must be made publicly available.

MOA Guidance Template

For statewide consistency, the legislation specifies that school safety and security staff must receive training in the following topic areas. Below is a list of trainings and resources for those 13 topics.

Constitutional and civil rights of children in schools, including state law governing search and interrogation of youth in schools:

Child and adolescent development:

Trauma-informed approaches to working with youth:

Recognizing and responding to youth mental health issues:

Educational rights of students with disabilities, and best practices for interacting with students with disabilities:

Collateral consequences of arrest, referral for prosecution, and court involvement:

Community resources that serve as alternatives to arrest and prosecution:

Local and national disparities in the use of force and arrests of children:

De-escalation techniques when working with youth or groups of youth:

State law regarding restraint and isolation in schools:

Bias free policing and cultural competency:

Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requirements:


To supplement the suggestions above, several websites offer a variety of online courses. Catalogs and specific courses can be accessed at the following links: