Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter to Dr. Kathy Martinez-Prather directing the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) to begin immediately conducting comprehensive school safety reviews to ensure all Texas public schools are following the appropriate procedures to maximize school safety.
In the letter to Dr. Martinez-Prather, Governor Abbott instructs that TxSSC ensure all school districts’ School Safety and Security Committees meet ahead of the new school year to review their Emergency Operations Plan and address any campus safety needs, ensure the School Behavioral Threat Assessment Team is trained and has reviewed procedures for each campus, ensure all staff and substitutes are trained on their specific district and campus safety procedures, and conduct an assessment of their access control procedures. TxSSC is instructed to provide a progress report of findings to the Governor’s office and the Legislature by October 1.
“The work and training provided by the Texas School Safety Center has reached thousands of schools and instructors and has benefited millions of Texas schoolchildren,” reads the letter. “However, the tragedy at Robb Elementary School last week requires us all to do more. I am charging the TxSSC, in coordination with the TEA, to develop and implement a plan to conduct random inspections to assess access control measures of Texas school districts. Among other reviews, your team should begin conducting in-person, unannounced, random intruder detection audits on school districts. Also, the TxSSC should immediately begin working with my office and the Legislature on recommendations to improve current security systems and determine the funding necessary to continue the work of hardening our schools against outside threats. Texans have never shirked away from a challenge, and I know with the support of state leadership, we can continue the work of improving each student’s experience in our schools.”