Gov. Abbott orders immediate action to address safety of Texas schools

Posted: 12:21 PM, Feb 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-21 18:24:20Z
Gov. Abbott orders immediate action to address safety of Texas schools

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to the Texas Education Agency on Wednesday ordering immediate action to ensure the safety of children in Texas schools following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. 

In the letter, Gov. Abbott outlines a number of steps to be taken by the state education leaders to help respond and prevent such tragedies. 

"As Governor, I take seriously the safety of all Texas residents, and as an American, I mourn the loss of 17 Floridians in a cruel and senseless act of violence. Immediate steps must be taken to keep our students and communities safe, with the understanding that more will be expected in the future, " said Governor Abbott. 

Gov. Abbott's letter outlines the following steps:

  • Catalog and share all available information from the Texas School Safety Center on school safety programs and distribute this information to all school districts, charter schools and education service centers across the state. To the extent possible, distribute this information to private schools and childcare providers as well. The goal is to ensure that all schools have access to the best, most up to date information about strategies to protect schools and students from attacks like the one in Parkland.

  • Ensure that all Texas public schools have completed their statutorily required school safety audits and have submitted confirmation of these audits to the Texas School Safety Center. Also, ensure that all districts have a multi-hazard emergency operations plan in place and ensure that schools have conducted safety and security audits on all facilities, both instructional and non-instructional.

  • Publish on the Texas Education Agency website and via Agency press release a list of any school districts that have not completed the statutory requirements referenced in point two above within 45 days.

  • Work with the Texas School Safety Center, the Texas Department of Public Safety and my office to draft recommendations to the Texas Legislature on changes to the school safety architecture of our state.

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