Local chaplains will have the option to apply for volunteer opportunities in Round Rock ISD after school officials chose to uphold the district's policy amid a statewide legal update.

What happened

RRISD officials chose to allow chaplains to volunteer in the district during a Sept. 21 meeting, adding language barring them from performing counseling duties or filling roles related to mental health. The decision came in response to a statutory requirement that school boards across the state take a recorded vote regarding the new policy.

The backstory

Under Senate Bill 763, school districts are allowed to employ chaplains to perform the duties of school counselors. Texas school boards must take action regarding the law in a record vote, meaning each trustee is required to vote individually on the measure. SB 763 is one of several laws that went into effect Sept. 1 regarding schools.

What are the options?

School districts across the state were asked to choose from three courses of action regarding the bill:
  • Hire chaplains to perform the duties of a school counselor.
  • Accept chaplains as volunteers.
  • Reject any use of chaplains.