FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/23/2011
PARKER PASSES KEY CHILD PROTECTION LEGISLATION
Flower Mound Lawmaker works with Child Advocacy Groups to strengthen Child Protection Laws in Texas
(Austin, Texas) Today Representative Tan Parker passed legislation that further defines the child abuse prevention policy that school districts, day care centers, and child placing agencies must adopt to include better identifying all types of child abuse, as well as, sets in place training guidelines for the entities to follow when training employees on the likely signs of child abuse. Senator Royce West was the author for the same legislation in the Senate.
"This policy and the minimum training guidelines will help equip teachers and day care employees with the tools to better detect possible situations of abuse and neglect," Parker stated. "I have made child protection one of my issues of greatest importance, and I am thrilled that today the state of Texas has taken the lead nationally on child abuse prevention."
This current legislation builds upon Jenna's Law, which requires school districts to adopt and implement a policy addressing sexual abuse of children. Jenna's Law was authored by Representative Parker and enacted into law during the 81st Legislative Session. The expanded version was endorsed by sixteen organizations and Jenna Quinn, the inspiration for Jenna's Law and a strong advocate and community leader for preventing child sexual abuse.
Madeline McClure, Executive Director of TexProtects, an organization who supported the legislation, stated, "TexProtects applauds Representative Parker and Senator West for the passage of SB 471. They guided this legislation through a long and difficult process and their willingness to work with dozens of stakeholders from a variety of constituencies demonstrates their effective leadership and statesmanship. With the passage of this legislation, Texas children will be better protected from the horrors of child abuse and neglect."
Parker concluded his remarks by saying, "A child spends the majority of his or her day at school or in day care. As such, it is incumbent upon lawmakers and schools to do all in our power to stop child abuse. That is what we did today and I am humbled to have been a part of this historic legislation."
Initially elected on November 7th of 2006, Representative Parker represents both rural and urban parts of Denton County which encompasses the cities of Flower Mound, Highland Village, Pilot Point, Argyle, Aubrey, Krugerville, Sanger, Cross Roads, Krum, Ponder, Justin, Lantana, Northlake, Copper Canyon, Double Oak, Bartonville, Trophy Club, Roanoke and portions of Lewisville and Southlake.
Serving in his third term in the Texas Legislature, Representative Parker is focusing his efforts on economic development, job creation, further property tax relief, appraisal reform, strengthening border security and immigration policy, promoting fiscally responsible government spending and protecting family values. Parker is the current Vice Chairman of the Rules and Resolutions Committee. He also serves on the Corrections and Urban Affairs Committees.