Texas’ Senate education chairman unveiled a school safety measure that touches on strengthening school security, “hardening” school infrastructure and mental health counseling.
Senate Bill 11, filed by Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, asks for increasing mental health resources in schools by employing mental health professionals in Texas school districts; expanding emergency response training for district employees, including substitute teachers; and establishing threat assessment teams, which would help identify potentially dangerous students and determine the best ways to intervene before they become violent, to serve in Texas schools.
“Though nearly a year has passed since a shooting at Santa Fe High School took the lives of eight children and two teachers, it is critical that the Legislature keeps the topic of school safety at the forefront of our hearts and our conversations,” Taylor said in a news release. “It is my hope that the passage of this bill will help our schools prevent and prepare for similar events.” Taylor’s news release said SB 11 would be heard by his committee on Tuesday.
Among other things, SB 11 also designates at least $50 per student in a school district to go toward costs to “harden” state schools. That includes the installation of metal detectors, purchasing and maintenance of security cameras and employing peace officers or school marshals.