Politics Today: August 25, 2019


(JACKIE:) (JACKIE:) WHAT IS THE PLAN TO MITIGATE THE CONTAMINATION OF PFAS IN WATER HERE ON THE HIGH PLAINS? WE’LL FIND OUT THE LATEST FROM THE COMPANY TASKED WITH DOING SO. (JACKIE:) AMARILLO TEACHERS ARE GETTING A ONE TIME STIPEND…TO HELP PAY FOR BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES. HOW MUCH THEY’RE GETTING… AND WHAT IT WILL COST THE DISTRICT. (JACKIE:) HI, EVERYONE… THANKS AS ALWAYS FOR WATCHING, POLITICS TODAY… WE BEGIN THIS WEEK IN CLOVIS… WHERE THE COMPANY THAT WAS HIRED BY THE CITY OF CLOVIS BACK IN FEBRUARY TO HELP DEAL WITH P-FAS CONTAMINATION HELD A MEETING LAST WEDNESDAY. IT’S PART OF OUR CONTINUING I-TEAM INVESTIGATION. (JACKIE:) KING INDUSTRIES PRESENTED SOME SHORT TERM STEPS MEETING INCLUDING CONSTANT WATER SAMPLING AND DRILLING ADDITIONAL MONITOR WELLS. THEY ALSO MENTIONED THE DEVELOPMENT OF A GROUND WATER MODEL TO PREDICT THE MOVEMENT OF THE P-FAS. BASED ON THAT MODEL, THEY WOULD MAKE A PUMP TO DEAL WITH ANY SCENARIO. THEY SAY THEY WILL CONTINUE RESEARCHING DIFFERENT TREATMENT TECHNIQUES TO HELP ABATE THE CONTAMINATION. (JACKIE:) A FEW OTHER OPTIONS THEY PRESENTED INCLUDE SLOWING THE MOVEMENT OF P-FAS CONTAMINATION BY PLACING A CLAY CAP OVER THE AREA. ANOTHER OPTION IS TO USE A CENTRALIZED PUMP TO TREAT THE GROUDWATER. (JACKIE:) TO SEE OUR FULL COVERAGE FROM OUR INVESTIGATION, HEAD TO MY HIGH PLAINS DOT COM. (JACKIE:) THE AMARILLO CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSED AN INCREASE IN THE TAX RATE, LAST WEEK. THAT INCREASE WOULD BE ABOUT ONE-68 A MONTH ON A 100-THOUSAND DOLLAR HOME, OR JUST MORE THAN 20 DOLLARS A YEAR. THAT INCREASE IS TO HELP PAY FOR TEN NEW POSITIONS FOR THE AMARILLO FIRE DEPARTMENT… THREE NEW POSTIONS FOR AMARILLO ANIMAL MANAGEMENT AND WELFARE…. AND INCREASES IN STREET REPAIR FUNDING. AND HEY–IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO LIKES TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE TAX RATE… GO TALK IT OVER WITH THE CITY COUNCIL. THERE WILL BE PUBLIC MEETINGS BEFORE THE COUNCIL OFFICALLY VOTES ON THE INCREASE. THOSE WILL BE ON SEPTEMBER THIRD AND SEPTEMBER 10TH. (JACKIE:) THE SECOND READING TO BAN THE USE OF MOTORIZED SCOOTERS IN AMARILLO PASSED LAST WEEK. THEY’RE TALKING SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE PAY AS YOU GO SCOOTERS THAT USE AN APP TO OPERATE. CITY MANAGER JARED MILLER SAYS THE CITY COUNCIL PASSED THE ORDINANCE DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS. MILLER REFERENCED BIGGER CITIES THAT HAVE THE SCOOTERS LIKE AUSTIN AND SAYS THEY ARE OFTEN LEFT ON THE WALKWAYS, BLOCKING PEDESTRIAN ACCESS. JARED MILLER / AMARILLO CITY MANAGER “WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT IT’S SAFE AND THAT IT IS ALSO ATTRACTIVE IN OUR DOWNTOWN AREA. IT DOESN’T MEAN NOT FOREVER. IT MEANS THERE’S SOME THINGS WE NEED TO ADDRESS FIRST AND THEN YEAH, WE’RE COMPLETELY OPEN FOR IT.” (JACKIE:) BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN WE WILL NEVER HAVE THEM… HE SAYS IF A COMPANY COMES TO THEM WITH A PROPOSAL THAT WOULD ADDRESS THEIR SAFETY CONCERNS, THEY MAY CONSIDER LIFTING THE BAN. (JACKIE:) AMARILLO TEACHERS ARE GETTING SOME MONEY FROM THE DISTRICT TO HELP GET THEIR CLASSROOMS IN ORDER FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR… THE AMARILLO I-S-D BOARD OF TRUSTEES VOTED UNANIMOUSLY MONDAY NIGHT TO APPROVE A ONE-TIME 125-DOLLAR STIPEND FOR EACH TEACHER…COUNSELOR…NURSE AND LIBRARIAN TO PURCHASE STUDENT SUPPLIES. A-I-S-D SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT ROBIN MALONE SAYS THE STIPEND IS MEANT TO ASSIST THOSE EMPLOYEES AS THEY REGULARLY SPEND THEIR OWN MONEY–MAKING SURE STUDENTS HAVE WHAT THEY NEED TO SURE STUDENTS HAVE WHAT THEY NEED TO SUCCEED IN THE CLASSROOM. AARON PHILLIPS, AN A-I-S-D TEACHER AND PRESIDENT OF THE AMARILLO EDUCATION ASSOCIATION SAYS TEACHERS ARE APPRECIATIVE OF THE STIPEND…AND HOPE IT WILL BRING LASTING CHANGE. AARON PHILLIPS / AISD TEACHER, AMARILLO EDUCATION ASSOCATION PRESIDENT / : “IT’S NOT UNCOMMON TO SEE TEACHERS SPENDING HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS A YEAR JUST TO MAKE SURE THEIR KIDS ARE LEARNING…I THINK IT’S A GOOD SIGN THAT THEY’RE AWARE OF THE ISSUES IMPACTING OUR STAFF AND OUR STUDENTS AND THAT IT’S A STEP TOWARDS MAKING SURE WE’RE TAKING CARE OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE TAKING CARE OF OUR KIDS.” (JACKIE:) PHILLIPS SAYS ULTIMATELY HE WOULD LIKE TO SEE REAL, LASTING PAY RAISES FOR TEACHERS SO WHEN THEY PURCHASE SCHOOL SUPPLIES, IT WON’T AFFECT THEIR BOTTOM LINE. (JACKIE:) THE CITY OF BORGER WAS HIT BY A RANSOMWARE ATTACK LAST WEEK. AS OF WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, BILLING, FINANCIAL AND OTHER BUSINESS SERVICES WERE OPERATIONAL. THE CITY IS NOW ABLE TO PROCESS UTILITY AND MUNICIPAL COURT PAYMENTS. VITAL STATISTICS SUCH AS BIRTH AND DEATH RECORDS HAVE ALSO BEEN RESTORED. CURRENTLY, THE CITY IS STILL CHECKING EVERY COMPUTER BEFORE REINTRODUCING THEM TO CITY SERVERS. (JACKIE:) PARK HILLS ELEMENTARY OFFICIALLY HAS A SIGN SHOWING OFF THEIR NEW NAME. THE NEW SIGN WAS COMPLETED BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. THE SCHOOL BOARD VOTED TO CHANGE THE NAME FROM LEE ELEMENTARY TO PARK HILLS ELEMENTARY LAST MONTH. (JACKIE:) A NEW BOND PROPOSAL FOR DUMAS I-S-D WILL BE ADDED TO THE NOVEMBER FIFTH BALLOT. THE 107 MILLION DOLLAR BOND WILL HELP UPDATE AGING SCHOOL FACILITIES. IF APPROVED, THREE NEW ENERGY EFFICENT REPLACEMENT ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS WILL BE CONSTRUCTED. THE JUNIOR HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOL WILL HAVE SECURE ENTRYWAYS ALONG WITH KITCHEN REMODELS IN THOSE SCHOOLS. (JACKIE:) TODAY…WE HAVE A BIT OF A SPECIAL MORNING… ALL OF OUR STORIES FOR THE REST OF THIS SHOW WILL BE FOCUSED ON SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS. AND HOW TO MAKE THEM SAFER. (JACKIE:) NEXT, WE’RE HEADED TO WEATHERFORD. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT A SCHOOL THREAT ASSESSMENT THEY’RE USING… AND HOW IT COULD HELP OTHER DISTRICTS ACROSS THE STATE. (*JACKIE:*) I’M JACKIE KINGSTON… YOU’RE WATCHING POLITICS TODAY.. FROM YOUR LOCAL ELECTION “SEN. JANE NELSON, R-FLOWER MOUND: “THERE ARE SOME CHILDREN WHO NEED TO BE IDENTIFIED AND HELPED AS POTENTIAL SERIOUS RISKS TO THEMSELVES AND OTHERS.” (JACKIE:) DOES A STUDENT HAVE ACCESS TO WEAPONS? DO THEY ABUSE ANIMALS? AND DO THEY HAVE A MENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSIS?…. (JACKIE:) STARTING THIS SCHOOL YEAR, THESE ARE THE TYPES OF QUESTIONS A NEW STATE LAW REQUIRES TEXAS DISTRICTS TO ASK, IF A STUDENT MAKES A THREAT. POLITICS TODAY’S TOM MILLER….TRAVELED TO WEATHERFORD — A DISTRICT NEAR WICHITA FALLS — THAT HAS BEEN THE EXAMPLE MANY DISTRICTS ARE MODELING THEIR OWN SAFETY ASSESSMENTS AFTER…HE SITS DOWN WITH BRUNO DIAS, THE WEATHERFORD I-S-D SAFETY AND SECURITY DIRECTOR TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SAFETY UPGRADES THEY MADE AFTER A MAJOR BOND PASSED IN 20-15 (TOM MILLER:REPORTING) DIAZ IS ONE OF THE FIRST TO BRING THE THREAT ASSESSMENT SCREENING MODEL TO A SCHOOL CAMPUS IN TEXAS. Dias: “We have a screening process with questions, key questions that have been identified by the secret service, by the FBI, in assessing threats, and we see how they answer those questions. We’re looking at social factors, we’re looking at other influences, peer pressure, other things that could be going on in their lives.” SPECIFICALLY ANY THREAT WITH THE INTENTION OF CAUSING BODILY INJURY. STUDENTS ARE DEEMED EITHER LEVEL ONE, LESS SEVERE, OR LEVEL TWO, A HEIGHTENED RISK FOR CARRYING OUT A THREAT. FROM LAST DECEMBER THROUGH MAY, THE DISTRICT CONDUCTED THREAT ASSESSMENTS ON 71 OF ITS EIGHT-THOUSAND STUDENTS. Dias: “During that interview, do you dislike this teacher, why, and if they start to provide reasons and in that process, you ask, do you really feel about hurting, do you understand what hurting someone truly means.” SOMETIMES STUDENTS DO, WHICH IS WHEN RED FLAGS START GOING UP AND THE SCREENING PROCESS BECOMES MORE ELABORATE REQUIRING DIAS TO FILL OUT AN 18-PAGE ASSESSMENT WITH QUESTIONS LIKE HOW EASILY CAN THIS STUDENT ACCESS WEAPONS, IS THERE A SCHEDULED ATTACK, WHAT IS THEIR SOCIAL STATUS AMONG PEERS, DO THEY HAVE A MENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSIS, AND WHAT KIND OF FAMILY LIFE DO THEY HAVE? Dias: “Based on the information we have we develop a management strategy. That may involve safety plans to make sure that everyone is safe, and also counseling plans, and we assess how well we’re doing.” DIAS POINTS TO EARLY DATA SHOWING THE THREAT ASSESSMENT MODEL IS WORKING. OF THE 71 STUDENTS FLAGGED, 70 PERCENT OF THE POTENTIAL THREATS WERE DE-ESCALATED, 23 PERCENT STAYED AS THE LOWER LEVEL “TIER ONE” INCIDENTS, WHILE SEVEN PERCENT ESCALATED TO TIER TWO. IF THIS ALL SOUNDS LIKE A NOVEL EXPERIMENT… IT’LL SOON BE A REALITY WHERE YOU LIVE TOO. STARTING THIS YEAR, EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THE STATE IS REQUIRED TO HAVE A SIMILAR STUDENT THREAT ASSESSMENT MODEL. Ashley Gonzalez – Austin ISD Police Chief: TOM: What do you think about this student threat assessment? Ashley: I think it’s an important component of keeping students safe. AUSTIN I-S-D CHIEF ASHLEY GONZALES SAYS HAVING THIS KIND OF INFORMATION ON HIGH-RISK STUDENTS COULD BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DE-ESCALATING A POTENTIAL THREAT, AND GETTING CAUGHT OFF GUARD. Gonzalez: Sometimes those situations can escalate into self harm, or violence against others, and that’s what we’re trying to prevent. PART OF THE BENEFIT WHEN A STUDENT SWITCHES SCHOOLS, THERE WON’T BE ANY GUESSING OR READING BETWEEN THE LINES WHEN IT COMES TO PAST DISCIPLINARY ISSUES. INSTEAD, THE COMPLETED THREAT ASSESSMENT WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR ADMINISTRATORS TO LOOK THROUGH. Gonzalez: We want to make sure that if a student has been identified, that they continue to receive services, just because they’re moving to another campus of another school, different grade, that doesn’t mean the services stop and that information is not shared. WEATHERFORD ALSO PASSES ALONG THE THREAT ASSESSMENT TO OTHER SCHOOL DISTRICTS IF A STUDENT TRANSFERS, SO LONG AS THE NEW DISTRICT REQUESTS IT. LIKE THE THREAT ASSESSMENT ITSELF, DIAS HOPES THIS TYPE OF SHARING CAN SERVE AS A MODEL FOR HOW TEXAS SCHOOLS INTERACT WITH EACH OTHER WHEN IT COMES TO SAFETY AND SECURITY. Dias: If I’m a counselor and I’ve developed an effective strategy with this child, I want to make sure that the strategies that I’m employing are going to be handed off to the next counselor so that we can keep that child on a successful pathway. (JACKIE:) THIS IS SOMETHING THAT EVERY DISTRICT IN THE STATE WILL BEGIN IMPLEMENTING THIS SCHOOL YEAR. IT’LL BE UP TO THE TEXAS SCHOOL SAFETY CENTER AT TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY TO AUDIT DISTRICTS AND DETERMINE WHICH ARE NONCOMPLIANT. (JACKIE:) GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT HELD HIS FIRST TEXAS SAFETY COMMISSION MEETING, THIS WEEK. THE GROUP WAS CREATED BY THE GOVERNOR ABBOTT AFTER THE DEADLY SHOOTING AT AN EL PASO WALMART ON AUGUST THIRD. (JACKIE:) BUT BEFORE OVERALL SAFETY WAS THE GOVERNOR’S PRIORITY… SCHOOL SAFETY WAS. AFTER LAST YEAR’S SANTA FE HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING. WE’LL TELL YOU WHAT LAWS THE GOVRNOR ENACTED AHEAD OF THE SCHOOL YEAR TO HELP KEEP STUDENTS SAFE. (JACKIE:) A PROBLEM TOO COMMON IN AMERICA CAME TO TEXAS LAST YEAR… AND STATE LEADERS VOWED THEY’D ACT. A YEAR AFTER EIGHT STUDENTS AND TWO TEACHERS DIED AT SANTA FE HIGH SCHOOL NEAR HOUSTON… WHAT ACTION DID WE TAKE TO PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING AGAIN? POLITICS TODAY’S PHIL PRAZAN WALKS US THROUGH THE “SOLUTIONS” STATE LAWMAKERS ARE NOW TAPPING TO “SAVE OUR STUDENTS.” (PHIL PRAZEN:) ” IT WAS EMOTIONAL “Here he is. Officer Banda. My hero.” SERIOUS “Nobody is shooting just democrats. nobody is shooting just republicans. AND DIFFERENT THAN WHAT USUALLY COMES AFTER A SCHOOL SHOOTING. “If it can happen in a little tiny sleepy town like santa fe – it can happen anywhere.” DAYS AFTER THE SANTA happen anywhere.” sleepy town like santa fe – it can “If it can happen in a little tiny SHOOTING. AFTER A SCHOOL WHAT USUALLY COMES AND DIFFERENT THAN WHAT USUALLY COMES AFTER A SCHOOL SHOOTING. “If it can happen in a little tiny sleepy town like santa fe – it can happen anywhere.” FE HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING, GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT CALLED A RANGE OF SCHOOL, GOVERNMENT, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT LEADERS TO THE CAPITOL. A SMALL BUT IMPORTANT DETAIL SHOWED THE MEETINGS WOULD BE INCLUSIVE: GUN CONTROL ADVOCATES WERE ALSO INVITED. Ed Scruggs, Texas Gun Sense – there was an acknowledgement around the table that, yeah this is an issue, THE ROUNDTABLES LED GOVERNOR ABBOTT TO LAY OUT 40-RECOMMENDATIONS THE NEXT WEEK. Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas: “This plan is a… starting point, not an ending place. A SERIES OF OPTIONS INCLUDING GUN SAFETY CAMPAIGNS, COMMUNICATION AND SECURITY UPGRADES, AND MORE TRAINING. Abbott: “I’m not taking any strategies off the table. And I have been and will continue to work with the legislators to build consensus on proposals.” SOME IDEAS COULD HAPPEN IMMEDIATELY; OTHERS HAD TO WAIT UNTIL LAWMAKERS RETURNED IN JANUARY FOR THE 86TH LEGISLATIVE SESSION. THEN, SANTA FE-AREA SENATOR LARRY TAYLOR SPEARHEADED THE EFFORT ON SCHOOL SECURITY. Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood: “I wake up every morning thinking about the parents – as a father of three and grandfather of two — we have to stop this.” A BOOMING ECONOMY MEANT TEXAS HAD MORE MONEY THAN EXPECTED TO SPEND ON SECURITY MEASURES, REDESIGNS, EQUIPMENT, AND TRAINING. DAYS OF HEARINGS AND VOTES MOVED SENATE BILL 11 ALONG THE PROCESS. Taylor: “When you have, when you go to multiple young people’s funerals back-to-back within a few short days. It’s really difficult and you don’t want to do that again. That’s why we have to get this done. THE BILL PASSED 30 TO 1 IN THE SENATE AND 137 TO 8 IN THE HOUSE. Abbott: Senate Bill 11, making schools safer, is now law in the state of Texas.” GOVERNOR ABBOTT SIGNED SB 11 INTO LAW JUNE 6TH AND IT TOOK EFFECT IMMEDIATELY. SENATE BILL 11 HAS MORE THAN $100 MILLION FOR SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS. NOW, EACH DISTRICT WILL GET NEARLY $10-DOLLARS (9.72) PER STUDENT TO PAY FOR NEW STRUCTURES, SECURITY GUARDS, TRAINING AND EQUIPMENT. IT ALSO GIVES THE TEXAS STUDENT SAFETY CENTER AT TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY IN SAN MARCOS A LOT OF AUTHORITY. THEY’LL HIRE 25 MORE STAFF MEMBERS TO AUDIT TEXAS SCHOOL DISTRICTS ON A LENGTHY LIST OF NEW REQUIREMENTS ABOUT HOW TO PROTECT AGAINST AND PRACTICE FOR AN ACTIVE SHOOTER. IF DISTRICTS ARE NOT IN COMPLIANCE SIX MONTHS AFTER AN AUDIT… THE TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY COULD APPOINT A CONSERVATOR OVER THE DISTRICT. STILL NO CHANGES AFTER THAT? THE STATE AGENCY CAN APPOINT A BOARD OF MANAGERS TO RUN THE SECURITY FOR THE SCHOOL. AND FINALLY… EACH DISTRICT MUST CREATE THREAT ASSESSMENT TEAMS AND SCHOOL SAFETY COMMITTEES TO ADVISE THE SCHOOL DISTRICT (JACKIE:) THE LATEST ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS THE GOVERNOR IS HOLDING TABLE DISCUSSIONS THE GOVERNOR IS HOLDING ARE BASED ON THE ONES HE HELD AFTER THE SANTA FE SHOOTING. MENTAL HEALTH REFORM IS ALSO PART OF THE GOVERNOR’S SOLUTION TO GUN VIOLENCE. (JACKIE:) NEXT… HOW THAT IDEA…IS PUT INTO PRACTICE IN SCHOOLS. (JACKIE:) STATE LEADERS DEDICATED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO NEW SECURITY STRUCTURES, PLANNING, AND TRAINING AFTER LAST YEAR’S DEADLY SANTA FE SCHOOL SHOOTING. EARLIER, WE WALKED YOU THROUGH LAWMAKERS’ PLANS GOING INTO EFFECT THIS SCHOOL YEAR. NOW, PHIL PRAZAN JOINS US AGAIN TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT SWEEPING MENTAL HEALTH REFORM THAT IS PART OF THAT SOLUTION. (PHIL PRAZAN:) ” ” STATE LAWMAKERS WERE TRYING SOMETHING NEW. THEY SEARCHED FOR THE LINE BETWEEN PROTECTING CHILD PRIVACY AND KNOWING WHEN VIOLENT THOUGHTS COULD TURN INTO VIOLENT ACTS. IT WAS A TOUCHY ISSUE FOR SOME WITH PRIVACY CONCERNS LIKE THESE PARENTS WHO SPOKE OUT AT THE CAPITOL. Alice Linahan, parent: “As a mom, i will not stand by quietly. As elected officials on both sides of the aisle work to destroy my state, and my nation, and especially my children. I will not be quiet” BUT THE POLITICAL WILL TO DO SOMETHING AFTER STUDENT AND TEACHERS WERE KILLED AT SANTA FE.. SUCCEEDED IN WORKING THROUGH THOSE CONCERNS. THE STATE WILL SOON PLAY AN ACTIVE ROLE IN STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH. TEXAS HAS A LONG HISTORY OF SHORTAGES: IN COUNSELORS, IN SOCIAL WORKERS, IN PSYCHIATRISTS. IN 2018 VOTERS SENT LAWMAKERS TO AUSTIN TO FIX THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS THAT KEPT BUBBLING VIOLENTLY INTO VIEW. GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT NAMED STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH – ALONG WITH SCHOOL SAFETY – AN EMERGENCY ITEM. REPUBLICAN SENATOR JANE NELSON WOULD MAKE THE CAUSE HERS. Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound: “The governor set up task forces and right away there was a clamor for hardening our schools. Putting metal detectors, and that’s fine. But that does not address the root problem, and that is there are some children who need to be identified and helped us potential serious risks to themselves and others.” SHE HAD TO FIND A WAY TO PROVIDE MORE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TO THE SPRAWLING STATE OF TEXAS; WHERE COMMUNITIES CAN BE GEOGRAPHICALLY, CULTURALLY, AND ECONOMICALLY DIVERS. SHE DECIDED TO LEAN ON A HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE THAT ALREADY EXISTED. PUMPING $100 MILLION DOLLARS THROUGH THE THIRTEEN HEALTH RELATED UNIVERSITIES OF HIGHER EDUCATION. THEY’D FORM THE BACKBONE TO THE CHILD MENTAL HEALTHCARE CONSORTIUM. EACH UNIVERSITY WOULD PARTNER WITH STATE HEALTH AGENCIES AND NON-PROFITS TO PROVIDE CHILD PSYCHIATRY CENTERS: LOCAL MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS SCHOOL DISTRICTS COULD TAP INTO. TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF PRIVACY NONE OF THIS COULD BE USED WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM A STUDENT’S FAMILY. THE IDEA PASSED UNANIMOUSLY IN THE SENATE… BUT NEEDED FAST ACTION FROM HOUSE LEADERS TO OVERCOME A CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN WHO FOUND A PROCEDURAL MISHAP THAT NEARLY SCUTTLED THE ENTIRE PLAN. HOUSE SPEAKER DENNIS BONNEN AND HIS ALLIES ATTACHED THE CONSORTIUM TO THE SCHOOL SAFETY REFORM BILLTHAT ALREADY PASSED. THE BILL WAS APPROVED AND SOON GOVERNOR ABBOTT SIGNED IT INTO LAW. NELSON SAT TO HIS RIGHT. Nelson: “I heard from so many teachers and parents and pediatricians that they just didn’t know where to go. They needed more than what was available to them.” IN CENTRAL TEXAS, THE REGIONAL HUB WILL BE THE DELL MEDICAL SCHOOL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN. IN THE NEXT YEAR THEY PLAN TO HOUSE COUNSELING AND MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS STUDENTS CAN USE. ALSO… THEY HOPE TO SET UP A WIDE ARRAY OF TELE-MEDICINE SERVICES SO COMMUNITIES ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF CENTRAL TEXAS CAN USE THOSE SERVICES OVER INTERNET VIDEO. THEY HOPE TO GET IT UP AND READY BY THIS NEXT SCHOOL YEAR. (JACKIE:) WITH MOST CAMPUS (JACKIE:) WITH MOST CAMPUS TRAGEDIES HAPPENING IN HIGH SCHOOLS, THERE’S A LOT OF FOCUS ON IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR TEENAGERS, BUT A LONGTIME EXPERT IN THE FIELD AT TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY SAYS SHAPING A CHILD’S BRAIN STARTS AT BIRTH. DR. ANN MASTERGEORGE SAYS- WHEN IT COMES TO HOW OUR MIND DEVELOPS – THINK ABOUT A TENNIS MATCH. THE BACK AND FORTH, THE SERVE AND RETURN – IS VERY SIMILAR TO WHAT HAPPENS AS SOON AS WE COME OUT OF THE WOMB. “Dr. Ann Mastergeorge/Texas Tech University A baby cries, a mother responds a baby coos, a baby responds, a baby smiles a mother responds” Mastergeorge: If there is a mother who is absent, neglectful, depressed the baby doesn’t get what we call serve and return (JACKIE:) DR. MASTERGEORGE SAYS AS TIME GOES ON – A CHILD WITHOUT A PRIMARY ATTACHMENT FIGURE IN THEIR LIFE, CAN HAVE TOXIC STRESS. ADVERSE LIFE EXPERIENCES CONTINUE ADDING UP – THAT COUPLED WITH A CHILD WHO HAS NO TOOLS TO DEAL WITH THE STRESS IN A HEALTHY WAY CAN LEAD TO EVEN MORE PROBLEMS. SO THE EARLIER SOMEONE POSITIVE SHOWS UP IN A CHILD’S LIFE AND DEMONSTRATES WHAT A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP LOOKS LIKE, THE BETTER. SHE CALLS THEM BUFFERS – THOSE BUFFERS CAN BE A NEIGHBOR, A GRANDPARENT OR A TEACHER. “Dr. Ann Mastergeorge/Texas Tech University mental health is a very complex entity but the ways in which you can connect with individuals is very simple. For example in preschools Teachers often greet every student who walks in the classroom and they have a choice of whether to do a high-five or a hug or a fist bump, what happens is often times we coddle and hug and interact with very young children and then in our culture we seem to stop at a particular point in time like you don’t need school age children they don’t need that, we don’t need to talk to them, they’re fine, but in fact they need that.” (JACKIE:) SHE DIDN’T WANT TO GET SPECIFIC, BUT SAID SCHOOL-WIDE INITIATIVES WORK THE BEST WHICH INVOLVE THE FAMILY AND HOME ENVIRONMENT. (JACKIE:) MORE TO COME. STAY WITH US. (JACKIE:) YOU CAN LIKE US ON FACEBOOK. (JACKIE:) AND YOU CAN FOLLOW US ON TWITTER… (JACKIE:) STAY UP ON THE LATEST POLITICAL NEWS WITH US THIS WEEK. WE HAVE CONTINUING COVERAGE ON MY HIGH PLAINS DOT COM. PLUS CHECK US OUT ON ALEXA, AND INSTAGRAM… AND LIKE US ON




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