New Law Allows Disclosure of Students’ Confidential Records

July 26, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. detailed (adj.) [dih-teyld, dee-teyld] – complete and full
Example:  The sales agent gave us a detailed info about their new product.

2. stab (v.) [stab] – to wound (someone) with the use of a pointed weapon
Example: His hands was stabbed by the thief while he was trying to get back his bag.    

3. legislation (n.) [lej-is-ley-shuhn] – law to be passed; a rule
Example: Our city strictly implements legislations related to smoking ban.

4. juvenile (n.) [joo-vuh-nl, -nahyl – young person ; someone who is not fully mature
Example: As a psychologist, Ms. Richards helps parents deal with juvenile problems.

5. biased (adj.) [bahy-uhst]  – favoring one side over another; unfair
Example: Some employees complain because of the company management’s biased treatment.

Read the text below.
Texas lawmakers might soon pass a law that would disclose confidential criminal records of students to their teachers.

The existing law already provides schools basic information on students. However, the new law aims to give teachers access to a more detailed record of the students.

Lawmakers proposed the law after a high school student stabbed his teacher to death in 2009. According to Representative Jerry Madden from Dallas, the new law will protect the teachers.

Texas teacher groups gave their strong support to the new law. Grace Mueller, an officer of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, said that teachers would feel safe and be better equipped to deal with violent students if they knew their students’ criminal histories.

Under the new legislation, law enforcement agencies have the duty to give schools all important information about offenses committed by students, including notices of their arrests.

However, experts on juvenile justice worry because schools and teachers might give biased treatment to students with criminal records which may prevent these students from leading normal student lives. 

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What information do you think is important for schools to know?
·         What type of information should remain private? Explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         How else do you think schools can protect their teachers from violent acts?
·         Do you think schools should not accept students with criminal records? Explain your answer.

July 26, 2011