Texas governor signs several school safety bills in wake of shooting

June 10, 2019 | The Texas Tribune

Capping off a yearslong effort to prevent another school shooting like the Santa Fe High tragedy, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a series of bills into law Thursday that would, among other things, strengthen mental health initiatives available to children and allot money to school districts that can go toward “hardening” their campuses.

A sweeping school safety measure, Senate Bill 11, instructs school districts to implement multihazard emergency operation plans, requires certain training for school resource officers, ensures school district employees — including substitute teachers — are trained to respond to emergencies, and establishes threat assessment teams to help identify potentially dangerous students and determine the best ways to intervene before they become violent.

The bill is, in part, a product of Abbott convening lawmakers soon after last May’s shooting at Santa Fe High, which left 10 dead and another 13 wounded. Before signing the measure Thursday at the Texas Capitol, Abbott said that SB 11’s passage was made possible through the efforts of House and Senate lawmakers and fruitful discussions that came out of a series of roundtable discussions he hosted shortly after the shooting.

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