AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn and State Education Commissioner Jim Nelson today announced the release of the final report by the Attorney General's School Violence Prevention Task Force. The report is the result of a year's worth of research, collaboration and dialogue about school violence and is being sent to Texas schools, legislators, and police chiefs among others.
"This report doesn't have all the answers, but it's a start; a start to making sure fear is not part of any child's school curriculum,"said Attorney General Cornyn. "I thank Commissioner Nelson and the Task Force for giving their time so that we can take steps towards achieving an important goal: A safe learning environment for the children of Texas. All of us want our children to be successes, NOT statistics."
"This is one of the most comprehensive efforts to address safety and violence issues ever conducted in Texas," said Commissioner of Education Jim Nelson. "The Task Force examined the root causes of violence and today offers us, I believe, many strong recommendations that can be used to keep our schools safe and secure environments where learning can flourish."
The report is organized into four main categories of information: General, Student/Parent, School and Community. Each category is prefaced by a brief discussion of relevant topics and issues. The four sections are subdivided by recommendations applicable to each relevant topic area. Available statistics and/or Task Force testimony follow each recommendation.
Report recommendations include utilizing the Texas School Safety Center as a clearinghouse for information related to school violence prevention, expanding conflict resolution programs, implementing and/or establishing character education programs and having all school districts work with law enforcement to devise critical response plans and encouraging community outreach to combat gang activity.
The latest TEA statistics regarding school violence in the 1998-1999 school year include, nearly 51,000 incidents of assaults against students, just under 3800 incidents of assaults against teachers or staff and nearly 500 guns confiscated.
The Attorney General's School Violence Prevention Task Force was formed last May and has met four times around the State in San Antonio, Lubbock, Houston, and Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
The Task Force's report is available on the Attorney General's website located at www.oag.state.tx.us and can also be obtained by calling the Attorney General's Public Information and Assistance Division at (800) 252-8011.
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