ACLU threatens legal action over public school chaplains….

It’s no surprise to see the ACLU taking a strong stance against SB 763. This is the new law that authorizes public schools to employ members of the clergy as “chaplains” for the students. Here are the key features of this law, now located at Texas Education Code 23.001, which goes into effect with the start of the school year.

  1. It authorizes schools to employ, or accept as volunteers, “a chaplain to provide support, services, and programs for students as assigned by the board of trustees…or the governing body of the school.”
  2. Chaplains need not be certified by SBEC, but they are subject to criminal history checks and cannot have a record as a registered sex offender.
  3. Funding will come from the School Safety Allotment, as chaplains are added to the list of people who can provide mental health support to students.
  4. The board, or the “governing body” of an open enrollment charter school, must take “a record vote” on the adoption of a policy about this issue not later than six months after the effective date of the new law. That should be around the 1st of March, 2024.

The ACLU minces no words. They view this law as unconstitutional from the get-go, and promise to “closely monitor” how the law is implemented and to “take any action that is necessary and appropriate to protect the rights of Texas children and their parents, who practice a wide array of faiths or none at all.”

The bill puts your school board members on the spot by requiring a “record vote” on the adoption of a policy about this. Public comment prior to that vote will be interesting! Moreover, public comment and board member remarks will be cited in litigation. If it looks like the district is using this law as a means of providing religious training or instruction to students, you can expect to hear from the ACLU.


Got a question or comment for the Dawg? Let me hear from you at

Tomorrow: the ESC fired me!