FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/20/2015
Giddings Passes School Resource Officer Training Bill Out of Texas House
Austin - Representative Helen Giddings (Dallas) successfully passed HB 2684 out of the Texas House on Friday. Under this bill TCOLE (Texas Commission of Law Enforcement) will work with stakeholders to develop and implement specialized training for school resource officers and school district peace officers. Currently, neither TEA (Texas Education Agency) nor TCOLE requires these officers to obtain specialized training focused on working with students in an educational setting.
Giddings emphasized, "We have seen and heard of too many incidents, especially recently, where officers have seemingly used excessive force not only in Texas, but across the country. Just like any other profession, with better training comes improved performance and results. This specialized training, which will include de-escalation techniques and mental health awareness, is an excellent opportunity to improve school safety, not only for the officers, but for the students as well. This training will ensure that these officers have all of the tools they need to appropriately and effectively interact with students."
"This is a continuing effort to give our children a healthy and safe environment for their education," Giddings said. Currently, the 600 hours basic peace officer training does not focus on handling or interacting with youth or students in an educational setting, which Giddings explained, "this is as you would expect, since most officers are patrolling the streets and fighting crimes - and not in the hallways and classrooms in our public schools with our children. These are two completely different environments, and we want to support our officers by giving them appropriate training for their posts." The model training in HB 2684 will be specially tailored for officers that are place or assigned in an educational setting, specifically, school district peace officers and school resource officers.
Representative Helen Giddings proudly serves the cities of House District 109: Dallas, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Glenn Heights Hutchins, Lancaster, Wilmer, as well as part of Duncanville.
Contact: Elaina Fowler