This Grand Prairie Teen’s Death Has Inspired a New Bill
It's heartbreaking when it takes a tragedy to inspire us to change or make improvements to our laws and our lives. At the same time, we can be grateful for the good that comes out of the bad.
A new bill is being considered by the Texas Senate that would require our state schools to teach kids about domestic violence and dating abuse. It would teach kids to understand the signs, and to make reporting suspected abuse before it's too late.
The author of the bill, SB 1109, Dallas Senator Royce West said "young love is supposed to be beautiful. Young love isn't supposed to hurt and no it isn't supposed to kill, but unfortunately it does."
Grand Prairie teen Christine Blubaugh was only 16 years old when she was murdered by an abusive ex-boyfriend in 2000. It was March, just a few months before her 17th birthday. She was killed in a field in south Grand Prairie. After he killed her, her ex-boyfriend killed himself.
Adding to the horrific tragedy is the fact that her friends, nor her mother, Debra Blubaugh, didn't even realize she was in an abusive relationship. Not even her twin sister Dawn was aware.
Even as recently as 2000, the early warning signs of an abusive relationship were not recognized by many. Though now we realize some of the red flags of which we all must be aware.
Should the bill pass, it will be named after Christine and will require between 4 and 8 hours of education that could be spread out over several years. But it could still be a life-saving game changer. The focus would be on teaching kids about the warning signs of domestic and dating abuse and the steps to take to report it to those who can help.
Last Tuesday, both Christine's family and Grand Prairie police were there to testify in front of the Texas Senate Education Committee.
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