Texas requires schools to vote on chaplain programs — Corpus Christi ISD votes no

The Corpus Christi ISD Board of Trustees Monday voted against employing chaplains in schools.

The board was required to vote on the issue in response to a bill approved by the Texas Legislature last spring allowing public schools to hire unlicensed religious chaplains in mental health roles.

The board previously discussed school chaplains and expressed opposition to the idea in January, delaying a vote until this week in order to fine-tune the language for a resolution as required by the state law.

The board's decision follows the recommendation of Corpus Christi ISD administration, which noted a letter signed by 100 Texas chaplains this summer objecting to school chaplain programs as a replacement for school counselors and safety measures.

Trustee Dolly Gonzales Trolley was not present during the meeting, but the six remaining board members voted unanimously for a resolution stating that the district will not "adopt a policy authorizing a campus to employ chaplains and/or accept volunteer chaplains under Education Code Chapter 23."

The resolution clarifies that chaplains are not excluded in any way and can continue to volunteer in the schools in the same manner as any other community volunteer, reaffirming "the relationships and partnerships with all community volunteers in accordance with existing District policy and procedures."

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This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Corpus Christi ISD will not employ school chaplains