REPORT ON SCHOOL VIOLENCE AND SAFETY IN TEXAS RELEASED

Aug 6, 2018 by

Education News - organizations and special interest groups want  to force classroom teachers to teach and then score students’ social emotional learning ...
Classroom teachers are not professional psychologists nor therapists, and they do not have the expertise to “label” a child’s SEL which could stay in his/her student profile from cradle to the grave.

“NEW:  Report on School Violence and Safety in Texas Released”

Comments from Donna Garner

8.6.18

[COMMENTS FROM DONNA GARNER: I commend Tex. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Texas Senate Select Committee (SSC) for their well thought-out and articulate report.  It is apparent that the Committee did listen carefully to the many people who testified before them, and then the Committee did its “homework.” They considered the factual content of each person’s testimony and arrived at sensible and logical Recommendations that the Texas Legislature has the authority and the responsibility to consider.

The report is quite easy to read. (1) The Interim Charge is given (there are four of them); (2) the summary points from the panel of people who testified before the SSC are stated under the appropriate Interim Charge; and (3) the specific Recommendations that the SSC intends to give to the 86th Legislature covering each of the Interim Charges are listed.

I found that most of the summary statements taken from the testifiers held very helpful and factual information; and I, as a retired classroom teacher with 33+ years of experience, believe that a large number of the Recommendations are realistic, doable, and necessary.

My biggest concern is over Interim Charge #3 (pp. 14- 24), specifically on p. 20 where Dr. Stephanie Barbre, LSSP, Texas Association of School Psychologists wants schools to “Encourage social emotional learning for all grades.”

A huge power-play has been initiated by the federal government and Congress under ESSA (replacement legislation for No Child Left Behind) and is being pushed by numerous organizations and special interest groups to force classroom teachers to teach and then score students’ social emotional learning (SEL) – thus taking the emphasis off academic learning.  Classroom teachers are not professional psychologists nor therapists, and they do not have the expertise to “label” a child’s SEL which could stay in his/her student profile from cradle to the grave.

The good news is that the Recommendations made by the Senate Select Committee at the end of Interim Charge #3 seem to have ignored the SEL/classroom teacher issue and instead are based upon factual, professional, and medically/psychologically sound principles. I do not see any references mandating that classroom teachers would have to become “pseudo-psychologists.”

Now if Texas Legislators will stick closely to the Recommendations made by the Senate Select Committee, Texas will hopefully pass legislation that will help to lower school violence and increase safety for all of those in our schools.]   

TO READ THE FINAL SSC REPORT, PLEASE GO TO: https://senate.texas.gov/cmtes/85/c565/c565.InterimReport2018.pdf

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8.6.18 – From Tex. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the President of the Senate

AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today upon the release of the final report of the Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security:

“Immediately after the tragic school shooting in Santa Fe, I appointed a bi-partisan Select Committee, headed by Senate Education Committee Chairman, Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, to review comprehensive strategies to address school violence and increase security in our schools and provide me with a report by early August.

“I want to thank Chairman Taylor and the entire Select Committee for completing this difficult task in a very short time frame. The report they issued today reflects their review of input from over 150 witnesses including experts and the public. They focused on issues ranging from infrastructure, including metal detectors and school entry points, to school design. They examined ways to increase communication and collaboration between law enforcement in schools as well as arming school personnel.

“The Select Committee also looked at issues related to the root causes of school violence including mental health, substance abuse, violent video games, social media and other factors. 

“In addition to the immediate steps that I have presented to school superintendents to help enhance the security of school entrances and exits, this report will help us develop legislation for a comprehensive school security effort to meet the increased challenges we face today. School security will be a top priority for me in the upcoming legislative session. My goal is for every parent to know their child is safe in their school and for no child to feel afraid. The Select Committee’s report will help us begin work in the next session to reach that goal.”  

The Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security also includes Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, who serves as vice chair. Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, and Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, serve as members.

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