A series of three roundtable meetings, looking for solutions after the Santa Fe school shooting, have wrapped up but there's a growing push to renew the debate in a special session of the Texas legislature, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"This issue is too important to wait until January for action," State Rep. Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio) says.
Over the course of three days, Governor Greg Abbott has heard from school leaders, gun rights groups, security experts, the public and everybody in between. But because the state legislature only meets every other year, no action can be taken until January, when lawmakers get back to Austin.
Cortez (D-San Antonio) says that, after the Santa Fe school shooting, he's been meeting with public education leaders to ask what they want the state legislature to do.
"They want additional resources for possible law enforcement on campuses, but a lot of them have talking about more mental health professionals," he explains.
The Santa Fe gunman, who killed ten and injured ten more at an attack one week ago, was apparently bullied in class. His father told the Wall St. Journal that he believes the abuse is what drove his son to act. He later told Greece's Antenna TV that he wished he could have prevented the tragedy.
"Somebody probably came and hurt him, and since he was a solid boy, I don’t know what could have happened. I can’t say what happened. All I can say is what I suspect as a father."
But more school marshals or an increase in mental health professionals in public school would cost taxpayer dollars, which can only be appropriated when the legislature is in session.
And while there would be a debate over school finance, Cortez says it would be worth it.
"Once a shooting begins at a school it's too late. But if we can identify the problem before then with a mental health professional on campus, we can prevent the shooting from even starting."
PHOTO: OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR