Wednesday, September 22, 1999
LUBBOCK - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn and Texas Education Commissioner Jim Nelson held the second meeting of the Attorney General's School Violence Prevention Task Force today in Lubbock. The first meeting was held in July in San Antonio. One of the goals of the Task Force includes ensuring that every school district has a crisis management plan.
"Since, by some accounts, less than ten percent of Texas school districts have a crisis management plan in place, there is obviously a need for practical advice. There is no excuse not to be prepared," Cornyn said. "As the father of a public high school student, I'm encouraged by what I've heard today. The practical advice of these experts will give our schools the programs and strategies to make our schools safe," Cornyn added.
The task force meeting included testimony from Dr. Margaret Dunn from the Texas School Safety Center, Sally Larkins, Director of Guidance and Counseling for Lubbock I.S.D. Lubbock High School Principal Ken Wallace, and Paige Holder, a 1999 graduate of Monterrey High School in Lubbock.
The Task Force is organized into three groups. The first group will focus primarily on student and parent issues such as parental awareness, peer pressure and teen alienation. Another group will focus on school issues such as conflict resolution, crisis management plans and security policies. The third group will focus on related community-wide issues such as media violence, gangs and the need for after-school and weekend activities.
In Texas, according to TEA statistics, there were 200,000 assaults against students and 18,000 assaults against teachers recorded in the last four academic years. In this same period, there have been 31,000 weapons confiscated in schools, and there have been 85,000 reported acts of vandalism or criminal mischief against schools or student property.
The Task Force will meet two more times over the next four months. Once the meetings are completed, the Task Force will issue a final report next April.
The tentative schedule for upcoming meetings of the Attorney General's School Violence Prevention
Task Force is as follows:
November 3, 1999 - Houston
February 3, 2000 - Dallas
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