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Texas House passes bill to ‘help students protect themselves against dating and domestic violence’

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The Texas House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill to help prevent child abuse, family violence and dating violence.

Senate Bill 1109, dubbed the Christine Blubaugh Act, would require Texas public schools to teach students about domestic violence and dating abuse, how to recognize the signs of abuse and how to report abuse.

State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) voiced approval for the bill. Three other Dallas-area legislators – two of them Republicans – joined Anchia as sponsors on the legislation.

“Team effort to pass #SB1109 – the #ChristineBlubaughAct today in #TXLege,” Anchia wrote in a May 26 Twitter post. “Thank you to Sen. @RoyceWestTX and Grand Prairie Rep. @ChrisGTurner for their tireless work to pass this bill and help students protect themselves against dating and domestic violence. God Bless the Blubaugh family.”

Authored by Texas State Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), the bill was named for Grand Prairie teenager Christine Blubaugh who was killed in 2000 by an abusive ex-boyfriend, according to KNUE News. Christine’s mother and twin sister reportedly didn’t even know that she was in an abusive relationship.

“I have filed SB 1109 in memory of Christine Blubaugh,” West wrote in an April 28 Facebook post. “It is imperative we take action as a state to provide age-appropriate education on topics that include dating and domestic violence. What happened to Christine can be avoided if we can teach our students to identify and respond to similar violent situations.”

Christine’s family, Grand Prairie police and Travis County Judge Dimple Malhotra previously testified in front of the Texas Senate Education Committee in support of the bill.

“I am so pleased that SB 1109 #ChristineBlubaughAct has finally passed and is headed to @GovAbbott desk,” Judge Malhotra wrote in a May 27 Twitter post. “Thank you @GrandPrairiePD
@SenRoyceWest
@RafaelAnchia for bringing awareness around teen dating violence and now will give school kids the tools to know the warning signs.”

The bill will require that schools teach approximately four to eight hours of education on the subject of abuse that could be spread out over several years. 

Senate Bill 1109 now heads to the governor’s desk for his review and signature.

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