Governor Greg Abbott has announced his plan to prevent another tragedy like the Santa Fe school shooting. Eight students and two substitute teachers were killed in that rampage earlier this month.
The plan was developed after several roundtable discussions with students, teachers, law enforcement, and victims of school shootings. Governor Abbott announced it alongside state and local leaders at press conferences in Dallas and San Marcos today.
"This plan is a starting point, not an ending point," Governor Abbott said. "It provides strategies that can be used before the next school year begins to keep our students safe when they return to school. This plan will make our schools safer and our communities safer."
With that objective, the Governor laid out 40 recommendations for preventing shootings in Texas schools in the new "School and Firearm Safety Action Plan."
One key recommendation is a greater law enforcement presence at schools to respond to emergencies.
Another is expanding the School Marshall Program, which would allow teachers and educators to carry concealed firearms.
The plan would also harden school security, with fewer points of entry, and an alarm system specifically for an active shooter situation.
Governor Abbott also discussed increasing mental health resources, specifically, a program that would remove students that make threats from schools.
After reaffirming that he is a staunch supporter of the right to bear arms, Governor Abbott also discussed reassessing Texas gun laws.
One idea is implementing a "red flag law," which would allow someone to petition for the removal of a firearm from a potentially dangerous person, after due process.
Another idea is redefining a child as 17 and under, and requiring parents to lock up firearms around 17-year-olds. Abbott noted that the Santa Fe gunman was that age.
The Governor’s plan would allocate 120 million dollars in funding to these efforts, with the hope that many safety recommendations could be implemented before the beginning of the next school year.
He added that additional state and federal funding would be needed to further enhance the safety recommendations in the future.