House Representative

Giddings, Helen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/11/2016

School Officer Training Requirements Begin to Take Shape

Dallas ISD Holding “Train the Trainer” sessions to kick off the New Year

Dallas- Although confrontations between police and communities have grabbed headlines across the nation, Texas is now leading by example in solving the problem.

Rep. Helen Giddings’s HB 2684 provided the guidelines for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) to work with advocates to craft a training that equips school officers with the tools to effectively protect Texas students. This week, Dallas ISD is hosting its three day “Train the trainer” sessions to give districts across the state the tools to prepare their officers for the specialized training.

“We are so excited to see these trainings coming to Texas schools,” Rep. Giddings said. “I applaud our officers for their eagerness to receive additional specialized training.”

The drafted curriculum, which is still subject to tweaks from its public comment period, focuses on understanding adolescent development and psychology, mental health crisis intervention, and de-escalation techniques.

Dallas ISD Assistant Police Chief Bill Avera, a member of the committee who created this curriculum, expressed optimism about the trainings and their results going forward. “The training mandated by HB 2684 will offer much needed expertise to law enforcement officers serving in Texas schools. I applaud Rep. Giddings and her colleagues for addressing this issue.”

Chief Avera explained how these trainings will offer a direct impact to Texas schools.

“It can be hard to fathom the issues some of our students face before they reach our front door. As a result of this training, our officers will be able to better de-escalate behaviors that occur as a result of the environment that our students reside.”

Rep. Giddings emphasized that the training’s impact will extend beyond the classroom.

“Today, we are beginning the critical work of building trust between our officers and the communities they serve.”

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: David Feigen