Gun Violence Roundtable Begins

The first day of the governor's roundtable discussion on gun violence opened with Governor Greg Abbott making a promise.

“I have one single goal over the next few hours that we will be here, and that is to gain as much information as possible from each person in this room,” said Gov. Abbott.

Twenty-three people were invited to participate in the first day of this scheduled three-day search for answers. The governor offered a warning to those at the table before the discussion began.

“So if you are bringing silent you’re not filing your seat adequately.”

Along with top elected state leaders the Tuesday panel featured school administrators, education policy makers, crisis experts as well as federal, state and local law enforcement.
“Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, whether you are pro-gun or believe in more regulations, the reality is we all want guns out of the hands of those who will try to murder our children,” said Governor Abbott.

The attack at Santa Fe has brought into question the effectiveness of existing safety plans.  There was an armed resource officer on that campus.  Active shooter drills were done and the school had even won a statewide safety award.

“We know where we are right now with regard in the way schools and law enforcement interact what we need to find out, what are the solutions we can find out to better interact,” said Governor Abbott.

Discussion topics on the Tuesday roundtable agenda focused on tactical training exercises. As well as how to redesign school entrances and exits; something like what’s being done in Leander ISD.

The roundtable was announced hours after the attack last week at Santa Fe High School. But the public pressure to do something about gun violence actually started months ago.

In November at this Sutherland Springs Church east of San Antonio 26 people were killed and 20 others wounded when a gunman broke in.

In February, 17 were killed during a rampage at Parkland High School. That attack prompted protest marches across the country. Those taking part demanded action by elected officials.

Roundtable Ideas:

  • More behavior counseling
  • More threat assessment teams
  • Better coordination between local law enforcement and schools
  • Make it easier for tips from students
  • Upgrade campus facilities 
  • Create a Statewide social media monitoring 
  • Start Intervention programs as early as elementary 
  • Better sharing of threat information between school districts and local authorities.
  • Mandatory collaboration with schools and law enforcement agencies 
  • Better sharing of information with parents
  • Station police officers at all front entrances 
  • Use Hays Co school safety guide book as possible statewide model
  • Expand school Marshal Program
  • Have Greater parent accountability 
  • Mandate parent training when their children act out 
  • Threat assessment program for all schools 
  • Discussed pros & cons of metal detectors 
  • Create an APP allowing parents to tap into school cameras.
  • Expanded school safety training
  • Threat assessment programs by incorporating Texas Tech Twitr Project Intervention Program