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Governor Abbott set to announce new school safety plan

Posted: 9:08 PM, May 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-29 22:08:08-04

Governor Greg Abbott is set to announce a new school safety plan on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after eight students and two substitute teachers were fatally shot at Santa Fe High School.

The announcement follows a series of round table discussions at the Texas Capitol last week. During those meetings, the governor spoke with and gathered ideas from a wide ranger of stakeholders about how to prevent future mass shooting at the state’s public schools. Among those invited to those discussions were educators, law enforcement,  during those meetings .. from educators, law enforcement, parents, lawmakers and survivors of recent mass shootings across Texas.

This news came on the day that students at Santa Fe High School returned to classes. Many people and students from surrounding communities lined up outside school doors and on nearby streets to show their support.

Gov. Abbott was also in Santa Fe on Tuesday, addressing students, teachers, staff and parents. He also presented first responders with a commendation for their response during the May 18 shooting.

According to a press release from Santa Fe High School, the governor also mentioned  the school safety plan he will unveil on Wednesday, though he didn’t provide any specifics.
     
One idea he’s already publicly supported is improving mental health screenings for students. The topic came up again during last week’s first round table, which was attended by Ray High School principal Dr. Cissy Reynolds-Perez.

"Starting in kinder, we need to start with some interventions for students," she said about screenings and counselor availability.

Dr. Reynolds-Perez also recommended to the governor that any new policies encourage students to speak up, saying, "They are the eyes and ears for us. A lot of times, problems are averted because our students are the ones who are the informants."

Another of the discussions focused on firearm safety. However, it’s unclear if any restrictions on gun sales or ownership will be part of the governor’s plan. He has suggested tougher laws on the storage of guns.

Gov. Abbott will announce the new policy during two events on Wednesday. One will be held in Dallas, and the other in San Marcos. 

The governor is also inviting the public to share their opinions on school safety. Click here for more details.