Call for Teach Texas Volunteers

Please sign up to help the HBA TEACH TEXAS COMMITTEE bring the
Lone Star Rule of Law to Our Seventh Grade Students

by David A. Furlow

Want to have fun and make friends while giving back to the community? If so, please sign up to teach two or more classes for Houston area Seventh Grade History students through the HBA TEACH TEXAS COMMITTEE. The Committee will soon send volunteer judges, justices, and lawyers into schools to teach students important lessons about how the Rule of Law came to Texas. To volunteer, just send an email to HBA Education Director Ashley G. Steininger at ashleyg@hba.org or call her at 713-759-1133. HBA Education Director Ashley G. Steininger will work with volunteers to find classes that work with their schedules.

The Teach Texas Committee will conduct a quick orientation for all volunteers on Monday, September 26th at 4:00 p.m. in the Plaza Conference Room one floor down from the HBA’s headquarters at Heritage Plaza, 1111 Bagby, Houston, Texas 77002 (by the way, volunteers cannot enter the building on the Bagby side, but must enter on the Dallas/Brazos side, near the conference room door). The Committee will soon announce a make-up session for volunteers who cannot attend that first orientation session.

Thanks to feedback from attorneys, judges, and justices who volunteered in the Committee’s Spring 2016 pilot-project, new and more colorful PowerPoints and lesson-plans will make teaching more fun and rewarding for all involved.

Between February 16 and May 17, 2016, volunteer attorneys and judges entered 576 classrooms to teach nearly ten thousand Seventh Grade students in 28 Houston area schools how the Rule of Law came to the Lone Star State. Most volunteers answered questions like, “How do you get into law school?” and “Do you have to be a lawyer to become a judge?” and “Does everyone get to become a juror?”

Is this fun or what? HBA volunteer attorney Kevin Jewel teaches
7th graders at Cinco Ranch Jr. High in the HBA Teach Texas program.
It’s easy to teach Taming Texas to Seventh Grade students. The Teach Texas Committee provides PowerPoints and lesson plans. Many lawyers read from James L. Haley and Marilyn P. Duncan’s well-written and illustrated textbook, Taming Texas: How Law and Order Came to the Lone Star State. In his foreword to Taming Texas, Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht explained the book’s purpose:
The laws people choose for themselves describe the society they live in. Does it protect individual liberty? Respect property rights? Limit government? Treat people equally? Try to provide justice to the rich and poor, the strong and weak, alike? To us, the answers may seem simple. But over the years, judges and lawmakers have fought against power and prejudice to produce the society we enjoy today. This book is about how that happened in Texas . . . .
The Society provides hardback copies of the book to middle school Texas history teachers and social science administrators free of charge, while making electronic copies available without charge in easy to download e-book formats for Kindle, iBook, and PDF at the Society’s Taming Texas http://tamingtexas.org/taming-texas-book.

The Taming Texas judicial civics book