Tag Archives: J.J. Smith

Rockwall ISD PTA president will begin scheduling dating violence dangers presentations for parents

The vice president of the Rockwall ISD PTA Council agreed today to begin working on scheduling Lillian Smith Foundation “Dating Violence Dangers” presentations for parents at each of Rockwall ISD’s three high schools, two middle schools and twelve elementary schools, in a meeting with Foundation leaders J.J. Smith and Tanya Pankz.

Denise Smith, who is currently the director of programs for the Rockwall ISD PTA (Parent-Teachers Association), as well as the PTA president at J.W. Williams Middle School, told Tanya and J.J. that she will immediately schedule a 45-minute presentation at Williams, Nov. 19.

Next, she said she will contact the other RISD school PTA leaders, plus the Texas state PTA Council, in hopes of arranging even more presentations statewide.

Denise said she had already heard so many good things about Tanya’s presentation from RISD officials that she agreed it’s a story that parents need and will want to hear. After listening to Tanya tell the story about the murder of her daughter, she said she was even more convinced of the importance of this message.

Tanya’s daughter, Jennifer Pankz, was murdered in 2002 by a boy she was trying to stop dating at UNT after graduating from Rockwall High School in 2001. Jennifer was also tormented by another boy whom she dated in high school when he became violent, which required the intervention of Tanya and her husband Brian Pankz.

According to a 2006 survey of 16 to 24-year-olds by the Texas Council On Family Violence, 75 percent of that age group has either been personally involved in dating violence or know someone who has. At least 50 percent of those interviewed also admitted to being personally involved in dating violence.

For more Rockwall County News, please visit our website news/magazine at www.rockwallrocks.com.

Mother of murdered 2001 Rockwall H.S. grad to speak about dating violence dangers

Jennifer Pankz

(Click on photo to enlarge; double-click again if image is too large)

The mother of murdered 2001 Rockwall High School graduate Jennifer Pankz will speak to the community about the dangers of dating violence, Oct. 29, 7 pm, at Rockwall ISD’s ADministration Building, room 600, 1050 Williams St/Hwy 66 (next to Helping Hands).

Rowlett resident Tanya Pankz, the former branch manager of all three First Convenience Bank locations in Rockwall, will join family violence survivor and Rockwall resident J.J. Smith, plus a law enforcement officer to speak, in hopes of preventing further injuries or deaths from occuring among local teens.

Seventy-five percent of teens have either personally experienced dating violence or know someone who has, according to a recent study by the Texas Council On Family Violence.

The presentation is also an effort to recruit volunteers to join the new Rockwall County Coalition Against Family Violence, initially organized by Smith, founder of the Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation.

“Jen,” the daughter of Brian and Tanya Pankz of Rowlett, was murdered Dec. 27, 2002, by a boy whom she had been dating at the University of North Texas (UNT), after she told him she didn’t want to continue dating anymore because she had just learned that he was taking steroids. She had just completed her first semester in college.

The killer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 years in prison, although he becomes eligible for parole after 22.5 years.

For more information, contact J.J. Smith, either by phone at 214-256-4071 or email jj@lilliansmith.org.

Preventing family violence discussed with Rockwall city council member

A Rockwall man who witnessed his abusive father murder his mother and then commit suicide when he was a child met with a Rockwall city council member today to discuss starting a family violence prevention program for the City of Rockwall.

Rockwallrocks.com publisher J. J. Smith, who founded the Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation in memory of his mother and directs their public education efforts, met with City Council member Matt Scott, who is also an attorney who specializes in working with corporate human resources departments.

Both men have a particular interest in stopping family violence – which includes child abuse and sexual assaults – which is why Smith initially contacted Scott. As a City Council member, Scott has worked to make it difficult for convicted sex offenders to live in Rockwall.

Smith recommended that they utilize the free resources of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (www.caepv.org) which is a national association comprised of corporations including Blue Cross of Texas/Oklahoma, Texas Health Resources and the City of Chicago, which have developed family violence programs to assist employees.

Smith agreed to obtain and provide all of the documents from the CAEPV so that Scott can review and discuss using and implementing them with other City Council members. Scott plans to contact Blue Cross of Texas to learn more about how they have designed their program.