A sweeping bill has been signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in the wake of the horrific Uvalde shooting, posting an armed security officer in every school in the state.
(Video Credit: CBS Texas)
The massive leap forward in school safety also mandates that mental health training for certain district employees be provided.
Texas House Bill 3 was signed by Abbott on June 14 and went into effect on September 1. Republicans were determined to ensure another slaughter like the one at Robb Elementary School, which occurred in May 2022, never happens again. Nineteen children and two teachers perished that day at the hands of a disturbed young shooter.
“In the bill, each school district campus is required to [have an] armed security guard which includes: a school district peace officer; a school resource officer; a commissioned peace officer employee; a school marshal; or a school district employee who has completed school safety training and carries a handgun on their person on school premises,” Fox News reported.
Leftists and schools have decried the bill, claiming they don’t have the funds for a security officer and they are hard to find these days. Nonetheless, it is the law they do so and the state has provided plenty of options for them.
(Video Credit: CBS Texas)
According to Fox News, HB 3 also mandates the following along with a stationed security guard:
- Mental health training for employees who regularly engage with students,
- Annual intruder detection audits,
- An emergency response map that includes floor plans, access control, and exterior door labeling of every building on every campus,
- A multi-hazard emergency operations plan,
- Safety and security audits of school facilities every three years,
- Semiannual meetings between the county Sheriff’s Office and at least 10 other collaborating agencies, and
- Physical facilities’ inspection for design, construction, performance, operational, and other standards relating to safety and security at least once every five years.
Finally, common sense solutions to secure the schools and keep kids safe.
— Jennifer Harrison (@JenCamAZP) September 13, 2023
The cost estimated by the Texas Association of School Boards for an armed officer to be placed at a school is $80,000. Only $15,000 is being supplied via a grant by the state to each campus which has them screaming in protest. They say they can’t cover the cost considering not only the armed officer’s pay but all the other requirements schools have to meet now.
Chief Bill Avera, who is the president of the Texas School District Police Chief’s Association, told Fox 4 in an interview that the requirements are a tall order for the 9,000 school campuses in Texas.
“This does create a situation where school district budgeting has to prioritize safety,” Joy Baskin, the director of Policy Service and Legal Services for the Texas Association of School Boards, told FOX 4 in another interview. “Given that a school district budget usually commits about 85% of the budget to pay salaries of instructional staff, this does eat up another very important slice of the pie.”
The state legislature has also increased security funding by 28 cents per student. That’s a very small amount.
…and why doesn’t every state use this? Maybe because the Democrats are more than willing to sacrifice your kids, to sell their Anti-gun narrative, because bad guys TARGET the defenseless!
— Chris Gough (@cgoughquinbysc) September 13, 2023
The superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District, Stephanie Elizalde, told the Associated Press in an interview that educators “support the idea,” but it’s definitely an uphill battle due to the massive costs of adding security personnel.
“We all support the idea,” Elizalde stated. “The biggest challenge for all superintendents is that this is yet again an unfunded mandate.”
“In the scramble to comply with Texas’ new standards, districts are considering to hire private security firms or arming more staff and teachers. One security company in Texas, L&P Global Security in Dallas, told the Associated Press that they have security contracts with four districts and is in talks with four others,” Fox News concluded.
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Author: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
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