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TEXAS Parents and Gymnasts PLEASE READ. Time to rabble so grab your pitchfork

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Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
This was sent out by Diane Callison of Texas USA Gymnastics. This only affects our state, please read it as it has potential to HUGELY impact our sport of choice. Cliffnotes: a senator is getting a bill voted on soon that would require facilities where kids train more than 10 hours a week to be child care licensed. All the ways that would impact gyms, coaches, athletes, and parents are listed below in the email.
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[FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Texas Senate and House Bills [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] that will affect the Sport Of Gymnastics[/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Some of you are aware that we have proposed bills in the Texas Senate and House of Representatives that will affect our future in the sport of gymnastics. [/FONT] [FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]All of these bills are posted on txusag.com and on the Texas legislative websites.[/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Senate Bill 68 overview: [/FONT] [FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]If you have children who train 10 hours or more a week in your facility - you will be required to be child care licensed by the state of Texas. This licensing will require your facility to meet all the minimum standards set by child care licensing (most gyms will not be able to meet these requirements which will include bathroom sink/toilet ratios in compliance with child care standards, out door playground, Child Care certification of workers and director, sprinkler systems that not only meet building code but also meet child care standards and climbing structures with safety fall zones). Uneven bars would be considered a climbing structure and would not pass child care regulations. This bill passed the Senate Sub Committee unanimously yesterday.[/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]What can you do? [/FONT] [FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]1. Read Senate Bill 68, House Bills, 601, 773, 188, 1123 and 1393.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]2. Understand that this is a TEXAS problem. It is not U.S. law. Although [/FONT][FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]the national USAG office is aware of our plight, we in Texas are the most affected and I need everyone to get involved![/FONT] [FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]3. Time is of the essence. These Bills are moving very q uickly. Luckily they have not hit the floor of the House for vote yet (whew). We know that they will be voted on during this session of legislators and be final by May of this year.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]4. After reading the new wording in Senate Bill 68, authored by Senator Jane Nelson, Flower Mound, Texas, you should understand the following: [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] A. Gymnastics, Karate, Cheerleading, Dance and other indoor skills based activities would fall under a School Age Program requiring state licensing.[/FONT]​
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] B. That along with Senator Nelson, we are also dedicated and interested in the safety of the children of Texas, although we disagree with the ramifications of Senate Bill 68. Skills based programs should not be defined in the same category with child care and have the same regulations that are required by facilities that provide child care.[/FONT]​
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] C. Gymnastics Clubs are NOT Child Care providers - nor do we want to become Child Care providers! [/FONT] [FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] 1. We do not have training in Child Care.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] 2. The students in our gyms/classes are there based on their parents decision to place them a skills based activity, not because their parents want them in Child Care.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] 3. We are are providing a service that the child's parent(s) have specifically chosen to allow them to participate in. [/FONT] [FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] 4. That we teach life skills through a sport. The lessons learned while under our instruction will carry them through their entire adult life. As they champion causes, captain ships, lead troops, manage corporations and make successes from personal endeavors. [/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]After reading these bills you should realize that requiring gymnastics programs to be Child Care licensed will destroy the gymnastics community in the hardest economic times that our country has faced since the great depression. Many gyms will not be able to financially survive the necessary building changes that would be required by Child Care licensing.[/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Other points to consider are:[/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]1.We live in the number 1 country in the world for child obesity and poor physical fitness. Think of the ramifications if children were required to be in child care centers instead of skills based activities.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]2. How could the youth of Texas compete against other states for college scholarships if limited to less than 10 hours of training a week?[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]3. Child Care centers do not take children after 6th grade. Where would these children be? (hanging out at the mall or Stop and Go).[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]4. In the state of Texas 35 children died while in Child Care Centers this year. If there were that many deaths with the oversight of the state agency and the inspectors that they have, how would diluting the ability to oversee centers help keep kids alive?[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]5. Our coaches and professional members are required to be safety certified by our national governing body. As professionals in the sport of gymnastics coaches are trained in the prevention of injuries and how to react if one occurs. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]6. On a personal note -as a parent and grandparent, I believe that if the state is saying that I have placed my child in an unsafe environment - i.e., a gymnastics or skills based activity, then the state should come after me as an unfit parent, not the activity that I enrolled my child in. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Where do our parental rights begin?[/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]I need your help to fight this enormous battle.[/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]How can you help? [/FONT] [FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]1. Get the parents in your gym active.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]2. [/FONT][FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]As citizens we are allowed to ask for an opportunity to meet with the people that represent us in Austin.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]3. I need some people to help organize the clubs across Texas to take a "Field Trip" to Austin - athletes included - wearing their team warm-ups, displaying a medal they have earned while in a skills based activity.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif](did you know that if a student is absent from school that federal funding is not paid on that day)? Children addressing the representatives would be a great benefit. They are hard to turn down, the media loves them and they speak for the future of our country.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]4. Get letters going to Senators and House of Representatives from parents, students who have received scholarships through their gymnastics, friends and neighbors. Anyone who believes that children prosper from being involved in sports.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]5. Network..you know someone who knows someone. Find out how well you are connected.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]6. I need someone to work on email databases that are not just gymnastics linked - bring in other skills based sports. This would allow us to reach a large number of people with just one click of the "SEND" button. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]7. Call, write and contact your state representatives and voice your concerns and remember, you DO have a right to vote during upcoming elections![/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]This legislation will affect all skills based programs, it will definitely affect you. Do you know an indoor soccer coach, dance, cheer or karate instructor? They may not have the state knocking at their door today, but they WILL have them knocking if this legislation go through as proposed. [/FONT] [FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Go to legis.state.tx.us and click on "Who Represents Me? You will find contact information there.[/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]I can fight for you, but WILL NOT win without you and your parents support and involvement.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] [/FONT][FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Remember, we are Texans. We fought at the Alamo, we can fight in Austin![/FONT]

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[FONT=Arial Black,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Band together, link arms and let's get going![/FONT]



 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
The link to find your Texas Representative is broken, here is one that works:

Who Represents Me--Home

Mine happens to be none other than Senator Nelson, yay. My daughter and her friends who do gymnastics along with her will be making a field trip to her district office. They will be in their leos, and if I have the go ahead from the gym I'll wear a staff shirt. If I find any larger groups going we'll go with them too. This is outrageous, I'm livid.
 
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msl529

Guest
Thanks, Linsul! I have been reading about this in the paper, on the TX USAG website, etc. It's crazy! :eek: I'll look up my rep. on that website and see what i can do.
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Good luck! This would REALLY suck if it went through.

The suckage would be intense. I took a look at the other bills on the legislative website, a lot of it makes me rage. Inane, nonsensical and ridiculous crap to get the votes of people who don't know enough about sports to think beyond 'oh hey I see 'child safety' in there, I'll check the yes box!'

Thanks, Linsul! I have been reading about this in the paper, on the TX USAG website, etc. It's crazy! :eek: I'll look up my rep. on that website and see what i can do.

I've been in my own world lately being on vacation, DD's bday party, etc. I come back to reality and found this and I was shocked! I see what they're trying to do, but ruination in the name of safety is beyond stupid. This trend of bubble-wrapping kids so we can turn them loose at 18 fat, clueless, and thinking the world a McDonalds playplace is offensive. Also contrary the good advice by more educated people than Senator Nelson in psychology and fitness, and more worthy informed institutions than a thinktank for future votes aka the Senators office.

We have the 6th largest childhood obesity rate in the nation. She's a former teacher is what I read. She should both know better and be ashamed. I've been looking at the Texas dept. of Agriculture, CDC, Texas education standards, and athletic scholarship information on Texas athletes. Preparing some choice words for this jaunt to the gauntlet.
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Here's the latest update! I think it's on the Texas USAG site under press releases, but I check my email obsessively and apparently they email as obsessively! It's good news, I'm tentatively hopeful but will still be visiting the district office and emailing until my fingers fall off from driving and typing.

Hi all,
I want to keep you up to date on issues that have been swirling around our gymasntics community, specifically, the senate and house bills.

It has been a very busy week, not only in Texas USA Gymanstics but also at the offices of our state representatives.

First let me say that it is obvious that you all care about the children. Your voice has been heard.

I received an email from Senator Nelson today addressing some of our concerns as well as an email from Phil Fountain, Policy Analyist with Senator Nelson's office. Mr. Fountain and I will be visiting and working together to bring about a good resolution to this situation. (I will include the letter from Senator Nelson in this communication).

I am now asking all of you to sit tight and to give the Senator's office and I time to discuss this issue in depth. Your phone calls, emails and letters have been greatly appreciated and I will let you know if any additional direct communication from you to the offices of our represntatives will be needed.

I need an opportunity to visit with them to get a detailed view of their intent and all the other specifics of these bills. It is ultimately our goal to work together with the Seantor and other legislators for the good of our industry and the children.

I will be sharing information with you as quickly as I can. I apprecieate all of you and all that you care about. I promise to work tirelessly to bring this to a good end.

Diane


Below is the letter sent by Senator Nelson...


"My goal with this legislation is to protect our children from abuse, neglect and sexual predators. Additionally, this legislation re-instates and expands exemptions for important neighborhood services, after-school programs, sports training and recreational activities that were never envisioned for state daycare regulation. These exemptions were nullified last year when the Office of Attorney General ruled that the Department of Family and Protective Services, which regulates day care, may not create license exemptions without legislative authority.

"I will certainly continue to change the wording of this legislation to prevent any adverse impact on these activities."

-Senator Jane Nelson
 
M

msl529

Guest
Additionally, this legislation re-instates and expands exemptions for important neighborhood services, after-school programs, sports training and recreational activities that were never envisioned for state daycare regulation. These exemptions were nullified last year when the Office of Attorney General ruled that the Department of Family and Protective Services, which regulates day care, may not create license exemptions without legislative authority.

"I will certainly continue to change the wording of this legislation to prevent any adverse impact on these activities."

-Senator Jane Nelson

This is good news. I hope it all works out. Thanks for keeping us informed, Linsul!
 
C

cathiann

Guest
Wow! I can't imagine the pain that would be if it went through. Hopefully the changes that Senator Nelson mentions will go through.
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Get on the Phone Texan Chalkbucket-ers! Yay for pre-bed email checks!


[FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]3/29/09 [/FONT][/FONT] [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] For Immediate Release
Contact:
Diane Callison

Texas USA Gymnastics
[/FONT]
[/FONT] [FONT=Arial Narrow,Arial MT Condensed Light,sans-serif][FONT=Arial Narrow,Arial MT Condensed Light,sans-serif]Get Involved[/FONT][/FONT] [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] Call your state senator to request to change the languare and wording in Senate Bill 68. Tell them that you want the bill to say that:

Skills based programs should be exempt from child care regulations.

Contact your State House Representative to tell them that you support House Bill 1393. This Bill exempts skills based programs from Child Care regualtions. This Bill goes to a committee Thursday, April 2, 2009. That is next Thursady, so do not delay! Call today!

Click this link to find the phone number of your House Representative.

www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/senmem.htm


Please pass this along to everyone you know.
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Aussie_coach

Moderator/Coach
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Jan 4, 2008
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I don't think it is nessesarily too bad. Our gym is a registered child care provider. It didn't cost us anything to become one and we don't have to do anything special to be one. All it means is we have a number with child care.

The benefits are that families can claim money back from the governement for child care fee's if they quote the numbers.
 
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gymnut1

Guest
Obviously these would go too far but seriously how many posts have there been on here about coaches shouting and belittling children? I read of things on here happening to children that would not be acceptable in a school from a teacher and would not be allowed. Why should children forfeit those safeguards just because they are following a skills programme. Is it acceptable to some parents in the persuit of second hand glory to have their child yelled at and encouraged to compete injured etc. (obviously not to parents on chalk bucket which is why there are threads about it!)
Yes I am stirring abit and no I am not talking about the risk of A bars etc only the mental side.
Wherever a child is for hours a week without parents APPROPRIATE safeguards should be in place and high standards should be insisted on.
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
I don't think it is nessesarily too bad. Our gym is a registered child care provider. It didn't cost us anything to become one and we don't have to do anything special to be one. All it means is we have a number with child care.

The benefits are that families can claim money back from the governement for child care fee's if they quote the numbers.

There are possible benefits I'm sure, but Texas standards and what would apply here are specific to not just to the country, but the state as well. It's complicated, and though there is always a silver lining, it's hard to see right now what with the black cloud in the way!

Obviously these would go too far but seriously how many posts have there been on here about coaches shouting and belittling children? I read of things on here happening to children that would not be acceptable in a school from a teacher and would not be allowed. Why should children forfeit those safeguards just because they are following a skills programme. Is it acceptable to some parents in the persuit of second hand glory to have their child yelled at and encouraged to compete injured etc. (obviously not to parents on chalk bucket which is why there are threads about it!)
Yes I am stirring abit and no I am not talking about the risk of A bars etc only the mental side.
Wherever a child is for hours a week without parents APPROPRIATE safeguards should be in place and high standards should be insisted on.

Nobody is advocating or promoting unsafe standards in the gym. The emails I copied and pasted, plus the information on Texas USAG website all concur with that. If you read all the emails through to conclusion, you will see that what Texas USAG is going for is a compromise. Safety is and always has been the number one concern. Current oversight, background checks, hiring policy, certification requirements,and equipment safety are held to already high standards here.

Seeing an opportunity to improve is never a bad thing. When it goes so far as to change the very nature of the sport(s) and how it's practiced here that is overreaching, inflammatory, opportunistic vote seeking. Though there are common concerns with kids activities, be it daycare or a sport, there is still a difference and both deserve to be acknowledged uniquely on their own terms.

As far as mental abuse goes, that is a topic for another thread that I'm sure many would be willing to participate in.
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
There is an adults only gathering in support of the compromise Bill in Austin on Thursday for anyone interested in attending. If you can't go phone calls to your state (not federal) representative are still urged and greatly appreciated. Details are as follows:

House Bill 1393 will go to the House Committee on Thursday, April 2, 2009. All of you who have watched the activity of this important Bill should gather in the Rotunda of the Capital Building in Austin at 11:30am, this Thursday. The committee hearing will be held in the East Wing, 2nd floor, room 36 (E2.36) No children please.
This House Bill is very important to our gymnastics community and we thank you for your interest and support.
 

~ beth

New Member
May 24, 2008
19
Guys..we are fighting very hard for our programs here in Texas. If you are a parent, grandparent, coach, or if you know anyone who is involved in gymnastics, volleyball, martial arts, soccer, dance, or any other after school activity, PLEASE call your Texas Senators and Texas Representatives in Austin and voice your support for the Committee Substitute version of House Bill 1393. We MUST get it passed. The version we are supporting is the COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE version.

Further, we MUST get the language of SENATE BILL 68 to match the language of HOUSE BILL 1393 in order for it to become law.

The daycare industry and liscencing agencies have overstepped their lines and are pushing to make laws allowing them to regulate pretty much any activity in which children participate.

We absolutely agree that the welfare of our children is paramount. We do not agree, however, that being forced into becoming daycares is the correct avenue and will have the opposite effects causing detriment to our children.

I absolutely believe that much of the daycare industry's righteous indignation is founded soley on greed. They want to shut us down for their own agendas and they will kill sports programs in the process.

PLEASE make the calls. PLEASE make the drive to Austin to support us as we address the House Subcommittee Thursday, April 2nd. We are meeting in the Capitol Rotunda at 11:30AM.

~ beth
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
If anybody here is going I would love to hear about how it went and see pictures if possible. I'm extremely anxious about the situation, but hopeful for the best. I have it on excellent authority that Yevgeny Marchenko from Woga will be there to speak. REALLY curious on who else as far as owners go will be there to represent for their gyms.
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
In addition to ek2's update (yay thanks!) I'm pasting the email sent out by Diane Callison regarding yesterday:

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[FONT=Arial Narrow,Arial MT Condensed Light,sans-serif][FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]Hi All, [FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]I wanted to give you an update on the Senate Bill 68 and House Bill 1393.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]First, let me thank each of you who attend HB 1393 hearing yesterday. I realize the sacrifices that were made to be there. You are wonderful.


[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]Now, in regards to Senate Bill 68. Senator Jane Nelson worked very well with us, listening to our concerns and changed the language in her SB 68 to exclude single skills sports (gymnastics, etc) from being under the licensure of Child Care. SB 68 (with committee substitutes) passed the Senate yesterday and is now on its way to the House. What does this mean? GOOD NEWS! (but we still have work to do).[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]Yesterday in the House of Representatives House Bill 1393 with Committee Substitutes, authored by Representative Leibowitz, was heard. This bill will stay in committee and will be addressed in the next week or so. Prior to it being presented into the House there were some changes to this bill to further clarify and protect skills based sports from requiring child care licensing. I believe that the changes that have been made to these bills will not only be good for Texas, but will set a precedence for other states to follow.[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]It would be wonderful if we communicated that we appreciate our Senators and Representatives listening to our voices, you were heard! Just remember, if we can call and complain, we should be able to call and say job well done! [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif]It is our hope that Senator Jane Nelson recommends Representative Leibowitz to sponsor Senate Bill 68 in the House. This will allow the necessary work to this bill to be chaired by Representative Leibowitz and should result in a final bill that will spell out our what we need in our industry.
Please contact Senator Nelson's office directly to express your desire on this sponsorship and you can also call the office of House Chairperson Patrick Rose to let him know that you would like for Representative Leibowitz to sponsor Senate Bill 68 in the House.
Thank you for all you have done, for keeping the faith, loving kids and for the person you are!

Diane
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