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.
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