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Dallas ISD won't employ chaplains as counselors, despite new Texas law allowing it

The exterior of the Dallas ISD Linus D. Wright Administration Building
Jacob Wells
Dallas ISD - Linus D. Wright Administration Building

Chaplains will not be allowed to act as school counselors in Dallas ISD.

The Dallas School Board voted 7-0, with one member absent, Thursday not to let chaplains provide counseling and other services to students in its schools.

“I believe this is the right decision by the board,” board member Joyce Foreman said.

Texas lawmakers this springpassed a lawgiving districts the option of accepting hired or volunteer chaplains to essentially serve as school counselors, citing a “need of additional options to further aid” students.

Before Thursday’s vote, several people spoke against the policy during public comment. Amy Moore, a Presbyterian minister, told the board that chaplains are not equipped to serve as school counselors, and said only certified counselors should be dealing with students.

“These are the professionals we need to engage in order to address the needs of our school children,” she said. “I urge you to say no to the chaplain programs in schools.”

Earlier this year, more than 100 Texas chaplains issued an open letter urging all school boards in the state to reject school chaplain programs.

Frisco and McKinney ISDs have also voted not to allow chaplains to serve as counselors. Texas school districts have until March to vote on a policy.

Juan Salinas II is a KERA news intern. Got a tip? Email Juan at You can follow Juan on X @4nsmiley.

Juan Salinas II is a KERA news intern. He previously worked at the Fort Worth Report as a reporting fellow. He is a Tarrant County College transfer student who is currently studying journalism at the University of Texas at Arlington. He was born and raised in the North Side of Fort Worth. He hopes for an opportunity to do meaningful news coverage during his time at KERA.