Duty-Free Lunch (Texas Education Code §21.405)
Each classroom teacher or full-time librarian is entitled to at least a 30-minute lunch period free from all duties and responsibilities connected with the instruction and supervision of students. If necessary because of a personnel shortage, extreme economic conditions, or unavoidable or unforeseen circumstances, and in accordance with commissioner rules, the District may require a classroom teacher or librarian to supervise students during lunch no more than one day in any school week.
In determining whether an exceptional circumstance exists, the District shall use the following guidelines: A personnel shortage exists when, despite reasonable efforts to use non-teaching personnel or the assistance of community volunteers to supervise students during lunch, no other personnel are available. Extreme economic conditions exist when the percentage of a local tax increase, including the cost of implementing duty-free lunch requirements, would place the District in jeopardy of a potential rollback election.
Unavoidable or unforeseen circumstances exist when, because of illness, epidemic, or natural or man-made disaster, the District is unable to find individuals to supervise students during lunch. Nothing in these provisions allows for walking children to the cafeteria or collecting them after lunch to count as part of the duty-free period. The teacher is entitled to 30-minutes duty-free without other duties.