Attorney wary of law establishing 'threat assessment' teams for schools

Friday, June 28, 2019
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

teachers with a gunA conservative constitutional attorney argues that a new Texas law threatens public school students and their families.

John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute reports the new law, signed by Governor Greg Abbott earlier this month, allows for the formation of school "threat assessment teams" to identify students deemed suicidal or who have mental health issues. Whitehead contends that Senate Bill 11 usurps parental authority.

"We cannot be overriding parental decisions regarding counseling and treatment for their children. We should leave that up to the parents to make a decision," the attorney tells OneNewsNow. "The school should be having meeting with parents; [they] should be brought in and they should form teams."

Whitehead, John (Rutherford Institute)According to Whitehead, the law's "assessment teams" empower non-medically trained individuals to identify and refer students for treatment which could have lifelong, negative consequences.

"Just for objecting to what a teacher says or to [what] a principal says, you can be seen as rebellious and possibly having mental issues – and that can go on your record," he describes. "And that record stays with a student for their entire life."

The legislation was in reaction to last year's school shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 people dead and 13 wounded. However, Whitehead says such legislation has been historically unreliable in preventing mass shootings.

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