Thursday, May 25, 2023

Texas Legislature Approves Chaplains in Public Schools

 The Texas legislature today gave final passage to SB763 (full text) which allows public schools to employ or accept as volunteers chaplains to provide support for students.  Chaplains need not be certified as teachers.  The only requirements are that they be subject to a criminal history review and that they have not been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for an offense for which sex-offender registration is required. Texas Tribune reports on the passage of the bill, saying in part:

The bill was delayed last week after Texas House members sought an amendment that would have required chaplains to have similar accreditation as chaplains who work in prisons or the U.S. military. That amendment was defeated during negotiations between both chambers Friday.

Earlier this month, House Democrats also offered amendments to bar proselytizing or attempts to convert students from one religion to another; to require chaplains to receive consent from the parents of school children; and to make schools provide chaplains from any faith or denomination requested by students. All of those amendments failed.

[Thanks to Thomas Rutledge for the lead.]