SAN ANTONIO - A new bill filed in the Texas House aims to bring education about healthy relationships into public schools.
The classroom lessons could address bullying and mental health issues, but some advocates say each point in the bill tackles domestic violence by teaching children what love and respect look like.
House Bill 366 would require Texas school children of all ages to learn what a healthy relationship is all about.
"We want to take that child and make them realize, independent from their home, that that is not normal. It is not acceptable, and it needs to stop," said Lisa Cunningham, of the Bexar County Family Justice Center, a hub for adults and children tangled in domestic violence. "Really it's about empowering these kids, and if they're not seeing it modeled at home, then at least we can model it at school."
The bill's goals are to develop healthy life skills, including critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication, and responsible decision-making about relationships. The bill also aims to promote effective communication between adolescents and their parents, legal guardians, or other family members about relationships.
"We're having issues, and they're undeniable. Numbers don't lie. We are failing our community. We need to get the word out about healthy relationships starting at very, very young ages and acknowledging that our families are struggling," Cunningham said.
She said the only long-term solution to reducing abuse in homes is by forming a healthier, kinder and more self-aware generation.
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