AUSTIN — Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday released details on a School Safety Action Plan, summarizing action taken over the summer by school districts across the state of Texas to improve and expand safety measures.
Those actions follow Abbott's call to adopt and implement multidisciplinary safety strategies outlined in his School and Firearm Safety Action Plan released earlier this year.
“Elected leaders, community members, students, teachers, parents and everyday Texans all share the common goal of making schools a safe place for our children,” said Governor Abbott. “Our goal is being realized as school districts across the state continue to put immediate and long-term plans aimed at prevention and protection in place. While progress is being made, there is still much work to be done and I encourage everyone in Texas to continue the discussion surrounding school safety to ensure that we put in place measures that will benefit the safety and well-being of our state’s greatest resource – our children.”
Highlights of the summary include:
- 1,705 public school employees took part in Mental Health First Aid training courses, a 90 percent increase from summer 2017.
- The Department of Public Safety expanded its iWatchTexas program to include school incidents reported via mobile app, the internet or by phone from students, teachers, parents and others in a centralized, statewide system. The system provides law enforcement the opportunity to detect and prevent possible attacks.
- The Texas School Safety Center joined forces with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to supply introductory school-based law enforcement, behavioral threat assessment and emergency operations plan development courses to more than 500 people.
- Since Aug. 17, 92 more school marshals have been appointed. Seventy-three prospective marshals are in the training process. This effort has already more than tripled the number of trained and licensed school marshals.
- The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training program at Texas State University has supplied direct training to about 1,300 police officers, firefighters, dispatchers, EMS personnel and others since May 18, 2018.
To read the full School Safety Action Plan summary, click here.