AUSTIN, Texas - Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to Dr. Kathy Martinez-Prather directing the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) to begin conducting comprehensive school safety reviews.
This review is to ensure all Texas public schools are following the appropriate procedures to maximize school safety.
In the letter, Gov. Abbott instructed the TxSSC to ensure all school districts' School Safety and Security Committees meet ahead of the new school year to review their Emergency Operations Plan and to address the following:
- Address campus safety needs
- Ensure the School Behavioral Threat Assessment Team is trained and has reviewed procedures for each campus
- Ensure all staff and substitutes are trained on their specific district and campus safety procedures
- Conduct an assessment of their access control procedures
TxSSC was instructed to provide a progress report of findings to the Governor's office and the Legislature by Oct. 1.
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"The work and trainings provided by the Texas School Safety Center has reached thousands of schools and instructors and has benefited millions of Texas school children," reads the letter. "However, the tragedy at Robb Elementary School last week requires us all to do more. I am charging the TxSSC, in coordination with the TEA, to develop and implement a plan to conduct random inspections to assess access control measures of Texas school districts. Among other reviews, your team should begin conducting in-person, unannounced, random intruder detection audits on school districts. Also, the TxSSC should immediately begin working with my office and the Legislature on recommendations to improve current security systems and determine the funding necessary to continue the work of hardening our schools against outside threats. Texans have never shirked away from a challenge, and I know with the support of state leadership, we can continue the work of improving each student’s experience in our schools."
You can read the full letter below:
Only days before the end of the school year, a mass shooting devastated the community of Uvalde in south Texas. A total of 21 people were killed, including 19 children and two teachers.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said 18-year-old Salvador Ramos first shot his grandmother, who was hospitalized in serious condition. He later crashed his truck outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde before entering the school in body armor and opening fire with a rifle.
Funeral visitations for the 19 children killed began this week.