Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Thursday, February 3, 2000


Task force hears final testimony before beginning to compile report

IRVING - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today held the final meeting of the Attorney General's School Violence Prevention Task Force. The meeting was held at North Lake College in Irving and included testimony from Dr. Bruce Perry, Chief of Psychiatry at Texas Children's Hospital, FBI Special Agent Terri Royster who spoke on children's crime on children and Nickie Murchison, Executive Director of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission and the Dallas Regional Chair for Texas Exile.

"When former Education Commissioner Mike Moses and I started this process last July, the goal was to initiate discussion about how schools could take a pro-active approach to dealing with school violence" said Attorney General Cornyn. "I believe we met that goal and as the father of a public high school student, I'm encouraged by ideas that have been brought to the table. I look forward to producing a comprehensive report with Education Commissioner Jim Nelson and members of the task force, that schools statewide can use."

The School Violence Prevention Task Force has been organized into three groups. The first group focused primarily on student and parent issues such as parental awareness, peer pressure, and teen alienation. Another group focused on school issues such as conflict resolution, crisis management plans and security policies. The third group focused on related community-wide issues such as media violence, gangs, and the need for after-school 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 next step for the Task Force is to compile a report of its recommendations to schools. That report is expected to be completed by late April.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050