Say No to Chaplains in Public Schools
Our public schools should be places where every student feels welcome regardless of their religious or nonreligious beliefs. That is why Interfaith Alliance is mobilizing in opposition to a new Texas law that would harm students and improperly insert religion into public schools. We know that this legislative effort won’t be limited to Texas. Join Interfaith Alliance and the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty in organizing NOW before it spreads to more states.
Chaplains Could Work as Public School Counselors Under New Texas Law
On June 18th, 2023, Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law (SB 763) that will allow school districts to allow chaplains to provide “support, services, and programs for students” in public schools. The law requires school districts to vote whether to employ as volunteers or hire chaplains in place of licensed school counselors. Under this new law, chaplains could serve as students’ first point of contact for mental health support, suicide prevention, and other behavioral health services – even though they are not required to have any type of formal training or certification.
All should feel welcome in public schools. Freedom of religion means that parents and faith communities — not government officials — have the right to direct their children’s religious education and development. That is why Interfaith Alliance is mobilizing to urge school districts not to opt into this program.
Are you a Texas resident? Make sure your school board members know Texans of faith and conscience don’t want chaplains in our public schools. Add your name to the petition now!
170 Texas Chaplains Urge State School Boards to Keep Chaplains Out of Public Schools
The letter, organized by BJC (Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty), Interfaith Alliance, and Texas Impact, was sent to Texas school boards as the state prepares to enact SB 763 on Sept. 1. Read Interfaith Alliance’s press release here.
Texas Chaplains in Public Schools: Advocates’ Toolkit
This toolkit was created by a coalition of organizations to assist parents, students, teachers, faith leaders, advocates, and concerned community members to take action. The toolkit includes sample posts for social media and sharable graphics.
Learn More About Our Partners
Interfaith Alliance is mobilizing our state & local networks in partnership with the Baptist Joint Committee and Texas Impact. Together with other faith-based and education advocacy groups, we have been coordinating a statewide response to urge school boards not to opt into the program. Learn more about BJC and Texas Impact.
Interfaith Alliance is leading these efforts as a member of the Teach the Truth Coalition, alongside our partners at American Atheists, Americans United, the ACLU of Texas, Texas Freedom Network, and many others.