Teen Dating Violence Programs in Texas Public Schools

By Mitzi Loera
Newswest 9

This year school districts statewide will have to educate students about teen dating violence.

The districts are required teach things like recognizing the signs of a violent relationship and providing assistance to the victims.

It's a growing problem among teens and young adults and it was pointed out by a statewide survey by the Texas Council on Family Violence.

"It said that 75 percent of students or kids ages 16-24 were victims of teen dating violence or knew someone who was involved in dating violence."

The survey showed in most cases the victim did speak up about the abuse, but only to friends.

And people like Denise Anaya, who works at Odessa's Crisis Center, say they want to stop the violence before it starts.

"It's more of a prevention to let them know what dating violence is and how they can be aware of the red flags that they are in a relationship that way," Anaya said.

Now as school districts prepare for next week for students to shuffle in for another year of learning.  They'll implement the dating violence program in this year's district improvement plan.

"The statute requires that the activities and such be documented in the district's improvement plan. So it will include when the activities will take place that will be responsible for implementing the program or activity," Moore said.

M.I.S.D administrator Teresa Moore says that just like students receive education on drug and alcohol awareness in public schools.  This will just be an extension of those programs.

"This is something that could happen to one of our students and when we have a student in a traumatic situation its going to affect their learning they are going to be less successful academically, Anytime we can implement programs that can make our students safer its always a good thing," Moore said.

We spoke with officials at ECISD and they are adding it to their district improvement plan as well, they told us they are waiting for a model from the Texas Association of School Boards to help them plan a program for ECISD students.