A Message from ARK President Dr. Glenn Wilkerson: During the 2013 Texas Legislative Session, State Representative Patricia Harless carried a bill that called for schools to provide training for teachers on how to provide unconditional love/care and respect to all students. The bill was filed late and didn’t make it out of committee. As president of ARK, I have been working with State Representative Dr. Alma Allen, a former school teacher and superintendent, to present a similar bill during the current 86th Legislative Session. Dr. Allen filed the bill earlier this month. The bill also calls for schools to provide parenting education, encouraging parents to give unconditional love to their children. For those of you who would like to see the bill, click here: H.B. 2511. The new additions to the Education Code that are introduced in our bill are underlined.

While the bill would implement concepts that are near and dear to the heart of The ARKGroup, the bill is NOT an ARK bill. It is simply being filed on behalf of the emotional health of all children in our state. If all campuses in Texas had programs helping teachers create nurturing classroom environments and caring relationships with students, the social-emotional climates of schools would elevate; and the impact on students who suffer from poor emotional health (feeling unloved and unwanted) would be monumental. A recent Harvard study states that a child’s best protection in facing adversity is a caring, supportive relationship with an adult caregiver. For kids who don’t receive unconditional love at home, their best hope is to receive it from a caring teacher, coach, or counselor.

Send up some good thoughts for H.B. 2511. If affirmed in both houses of the legislature and signed by the governor, the bill would make a real difference in the lives of countless children.

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