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School Chaplain Programs Under Consideration

East Texas school districts are considering a bill authored by Rep. Cole Hefner of Mt. Pleasant regarding school chaplain programs. It allows Texas schools to use safety funds to pay for unlicensed chaplains to work in mental health roles. Volunteer chaplains would also be allowed in schools. One hundred three chaplains signed a letter asking all Texas schools to say no to public school chaplain programs. Reverend Doctor Michael G. Maness noted the bill has a condescending tone towards students and educators, and the focus is the student’s need for protestant evangelical religion. Rocky Malloy, CEO of the National School Chaplain Organization, said chaplains could reduce suicides and shootings.