Texas rides again!

After their attempt to stuff the ten commandments into classrooms failed, the Texas legislature rebounds and succeeds in stuffing chaplains into the schools.

Senate Bill 763 was approved in an 84-60 vote in the Texas House, one day after it passed the Texas Senate. It allows Texas schools to use safety funds to pay for unlicensed chaplains to work in mental health roles. Volunteer chaplains will also be allowed in schools.

Note: they want to use safety fund for this futile effort, in a misguided belief that this will keep kids safe. But then the bill specifically allows unlicensed chaplains, that is, the local Baptist minister with no training in education or safety is going to get paid to come in and pester the kids. And they’re expected to provide mental health assistance! Like mental health care is just something anyone can do adequately.

Wow, but that one sentence — “It allows Texas schools to use safety funds to pay for unlicensed chaplains to work in mental health roles” — is doing a lot of work.

The Democrats made an effort to reduce the harm this bill is going to do to no avail.

Earlier this month, House Democrats also offered amendments to bar proselytizing or attempts to convert students from one religion to another; to require chaplains to receive consent from the parents of school children; and to make schools provide chaplains from any faith or denomination requested by students. All of those amendments failed.

Those are reasonable requirements, but they don’t go far enough. In particular, you need training to do counseling. Republicans think it’s going to help, for their usual ignorant reasons.

As with other faith-driven legislation this session — including a bill to require the Ten Commandments in classrooms that failed to reach a crucial vote on Tuesday — conservative Christians argued that religious chaplains could help prevent school shootings, drug use, suicide and other societal ills by returning God to classrooms.

My experience with most religious nutcases is that they’re only going to increase the sense of futility and despair. Not to mention the increase in sexual abuse by priests, which always seems to follow.


  1. Artor says

    It’s as if the GOP actively wants your children to be molested. That is a guaranteed result of this legislation. It’s only a matter of time.

  2. says

    This action must be viewed in the broader context, which is the right wing’s general push for privatization of schools and vouchers. Private schools, naturally, can segregate (using a variety of tricks) but are also inherently segregated by cost. You can be sure that none of the politicians or school board members who are pushing this crap have actual kids in public education. This is just more of the US oligarchy’s “one set of rules for thee, another for me.” Or, as they used to call it, “separate but lol lol I can’t even say it.”

  3. stuffin says

    All those prayers coming directly from an emissary of God while standing on the actual site where children were blown away by and AR 15 will certainly help prevent future schools mass murders.

    Or this is a perfect opportunity to infect children’s minds with religious propaganda.

  4. says

    “…to require chaplains to receive consent from the parents of school children…”

    Weird how the right wouldn’t allow that amendment after all these years of crying about parents’ rights and how they need to be notified if Billy and Jimmy were maybe standing too close together. Weird that.

  5. StevoR says

    ..stuffing chaplains into the schools.

    Please can that be taken literally as ramming them into the brickwork of the buildings themselves repeatedly until they merge with it in some gory nightmare fusion?

    (Too violent? Inner horror writer..)

  6. laurian says

    Wait. Wait Hear me out. If we had enough chaplains to throw at mass murdering gunman it could buy some time to save the kids.

  7. StevoR says

    @ ^ laurian : Chaplains would probly use the kids as human shiels for themselves first..

  8. says

    Republicans think it’s going to help…

    This claim is — to put it as charitably as I can — unfounded. In fact, all the evidence I’ve seen clearly indicates the Retrumplitarians have absolutely no illusions that this will help, and don’t even want these policies, or anything else, to help anyone’s kids.

  9. robro says

    What makes anyone think Republicans want to “help” kids? Surely not because they use those words. As for mental illness that’s just the wages of being born in sin, so having the preacher in the school makes perfect sense. Keep in mind that being LGBTQ+ is just metal illness (aka sinfulness) to them.

    However, laurian @ #6 is onto something.

  10. raven says

    It allows Texas schools to use safety funds to pay for unlicensed chaplains to work in mental health roles. Volunteer chaplains will also be allowed in schools.

    Those unlicensed chaplains have as much competence to work in “mental health roles” as anyone reading this blog right now. Which is to say about zero.
    A lot of fundie xian pastors don’t even have much if any training in being a pastor. You can be ordained by sending in a nominal fee to places that will then send you a fancy diploma.

    ” Volunteer chaplains will also be allowed in schools.”
    To do what?
    All they are going to do is try to convert the students.
    In a lot of states this is illegal, due to that separation of church and state we used to have.

    As Artor points out in the first comment, this is also just going to guarantee that a lot of child molesters gain access to a huge number of children.
    Youth pastor is almost synonymous with “child sexual abuser”.

  11. Larry says

    laurian @ #6

    It would sort of like how the body throws white blood cells at infections where the infections are shooters and the white blood cells are the chaplains, resulting in the loss of the blood cells. Many chaplains will die in pursuit of the ultimate goal of saving the lives of the children but that is a risk I am more than willing to take.

  12. says

    As long as they were proposing amendments that weren’t going to pass, maybe the Dems should have, given recent history, offered one saying the chaplains weren’t allowed to have sex with the students, just to see what the Repubs did with it.

  13. says

    So preachers that hold services to bless AR-15s will be in schools tending to the mental health of children. Who is going to monitor the mental health of gun fondling Christian extremists.

  14. says

    I would say that the chaplains will be outside their field of expertise, but made-up religious crap is not an actual field in which one can have expertise.

  15. Pierce R. Butler says

    I hope Gov. Abbott will call a special session to allocate funds for these chaplains’ Kevlar vests, combat helmets, and AR-15s.

  16. wzrd1 says

    You don’t understand the worthy goal!
    They’re bringing hopes and prayers to an active shooter emergency, rendering immediate hopes and prayers to protect the children proactively, as the minister hides inside of a safe room for clergy only in the school.
    It’ll be a resounding success, spending on a minster’s “mental health counseling” over replacing those defective locks. Maybe they can also get some mental health counseling M2 .50 BMG machine guns as well. Those DoD surpluses aren’t going away soon if money isn’t spent on them!
    And hopefully, they’ll also issue those ministers the same “body armor” that the press goes on about shooters wearing, which is merely load bearing tactical vests. They’re equally effective as their hopes and prayers in deflecting bullets.

  17. says

    I think my earlier comment bears repeating:
    shermanj 24 May 2023 at 1:40 pm
    But, the scary part, that I find abhorent, is that these religious freaks will always continue trying to push their phony sky fairy beliefs on everyone else!
    ‘use safety funds to pay for unlicensed chaplains to work in mental health roles.’ well WTF, that is the legislative equivalent of ‘thoughts and prayers’. These xtian terrorists WON’T PROTECT STUDENTS! I hope climate change intensity causes the entire southeastern corner of the united states to break off and slide into the ocean.

  18. lanir says

    It’s hard to tell anymore but this seems ridiculous enough I kind of wonder if this law is really the end goal or a means to something else. Like having the US Supreme Court rule on separation of church and state.

  19. wzrd1 says

    OT, but good news. Oath Keeper leader Stewart Rhodes is to be a continuous guest of the federal government for the next 18 years. Hopefully, all in a supermax.

  20. Snarki, child of Loki says

    ” It allows Texas schools to use safety funds to pay for unlicensed chaplains:

    Snuffy Smif, MAGAt, explains it:
    “Thar’s GRIFTIN’S in them-thar rubes!”

  21. magistramarla says

    Texas schools have had a xtian cult thing called “Meet You at the Flag Pole” for many years.
    Before school, teachers would meet with students to encircle the flag pole and pray.
    Other teachers tried to pressure me into joining this farce, but I refused.
    I was the recipient of many side-eyes as I walked past them from the parking lot.
    There were also occasional school-wide assemblies with “guests” who played xtian music and gave “motivational speeches” in the auditorium.
    We were told that it was mandatory to bring our classes to the auditorium, but I ignored that and tried to make sure that I had a test to give my students on those days. Several of my students thanked me for providing a classroom for them to hide out from the proselytizing.

  22. Ridana says

    9) robro sez: “being LGBTQ+ is just metal illness.”

    Damn right! Metal as fuck!

  23. Doc Bill says

    Texas is infested with non-denominational pseudo-Christian cults. My neighbor ran a “church” out of his home, eventually quit his engineering job and became a professional Speaker of Tongues. So, no doctrine, no seminary, no credentials.

    In Texas to be a school counselor you need a Masters in education of 48 credit hours in counseling, two years of teaching experience and pass the school counselor exam.

    Chaplains: nothing. Nope. Nothing at all. Just some Christian summer camp groomer given a whole new flock of victims.

  24. StevoR says

    @18. lanir :

    It’s hard to tell anymore but this seems ridiculous enough I kind of wonder if this law is really the end goal or a means to something else. Like having the US Supreme Court rule on separation of church and state.

    Agreed. A big worry and a reason why Trump’s Treason SCOTUS packed full of perjuring ideologically extremist frauds needs to go. It should be a priority of Biden and progressives to remove those Trump “Justices” and get the SCOTUS back in decent human hands.

  25. says

    A few years back, I severed a tendon at work. I’ll spare you the details. My boss drove me to the hospital we ad our company insurance through. It was Providence. I was waiting for the doctor for about 15 minutes and then the hospital chaplin wanders in. If I wasn’t about to lose a finger I would have laughed my ass off.

  26. wzrd1 says

    Texan high school cancels graduation, due to insufficient numbers of graduates. Out of a class of 33, only 5 had enough credit hours to graduate.
    Students tried blaming teacher absenteeism, the school pointed to student absenteeism. The audit trail of course is why the graduation was halted. They’re also moving to 4 day school weeks next year, due to budget issues and insufficient numbers of teachers and student absenteeism.
    But, they’ll get their ministers in the schools, which is more important than safety measures or you know, actually having enough teachers.

  27. StevoR says

    Moment by moment we live.
    Make the best of it.
    We are alive.
    What do we do with our lives?
    How do we make them good in both senses of the word?
    Enjoyable & ethical alike.

    Cap’n Obvs? Yet..

  28. DanDare says

    John Howard brought chaplains to public schools in Australia in about 2008. He gutted the funding for actual qualified councillors. A bunch of bottom dwelling “providers” send these trojan horses into our schools and rake in government funding. I have been fighting this ever since.