Governor Says Texas Schools Are Safer Due to Major Initiatives

posted by Jim Forsyth - 

As Texas school children settle in for a new school year in the shadow of last May's Santa Fe High School shooting and the ongoing debate over school safety, Gov. Greg Abbott has released the recommendations from the series of 'round table' discussions he held following the Santa Fe incident, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"One of the key demands from teachers, parents, and students was the need for greater law enforcement presence," Abbott said.

He says that is happening in districts across the state, and the Advanced Law Enforcement Advanced Training Program at Texas State University has provided direct training to nearly 1300 first responders since the May 18th shooting.

"The plan includes more than $120 million in funding strategies to help schools implement these plans immediately, with no direct cost to the schools," Abbott said.

The governor says another series of suggestions that came out of his 'round table discussions' in June and July is a greater awareness of mental health , with 1,705 public schools employees receiving training on how to recognize the signs of problem in schools.

Abbott also cited the iWatchTexas program, which has been fully implemented by the DPS to allow students, parents, and teachers to anonymously pass along indications that students are making threats or have posted potentially threatening material on social media.

The North East ISD is among the districts which are also contracting with private companies to monitor the social media posts of students to provide warning of potential problems.  Both the Parkland Florida and the Santa Fe shooter had posted messages on social media would would have raised red flags.

An additional 92 school marshals have been appointed, and 73 are undergoing intensive training.  

In addition, programs like the one being implemented by the Bexar County Sheriff will include uniformed officers including school buildings on their regular rounds, meeting with students, and being alert to potential problems.

PHOTO' OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

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