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Texas Lawmakers Approve Bill That Would Require A Armed Person At Every Texas Campus

May 29, 2023 – Texas lawmakers have sent a school safety measure Bill to Gov. Abbott’s desk on Sunday, including in their response to last year’s Uvalde massacre a requirement to post an armed security officer at every school and provide mental health training for certain district employees.

This measure will also give the state more power to persuade school districts to create active-shooter plans.

Both Chambers gave their final approval to House Bill 3 after ironing out their differences over the past week.

The provision to require an armed person at every school campus was added back into the Bill during the negotiation process after the Senate took it out earlier in the session. The armed person can be either a peace officer, a school resource officer, a school marshal or a school district employee, according to the law.

That provision caused the most tension among the opponents of the Bill, who have argued all through the legislative session that fewer guns — not more — is the solution to mass shootings. However, the Bill still passed by a relatively large margin in the House, 93-49.

The proposal requires the Texas School Safety Center to review best practices to best secure campuses every five years. In the Uvalde shooting, the gunman entered Robb Elementary through a backdoor that failed to properly lock. The Bill would also create regional safety teams that would conduct intruder detection audits at least once a year.

Both chambers have agreed that school safety is this years topic of choice this session after the Uvalde elementary school shooting that occurred last year. However, Uvalde parents were left disappointed after the raise-the-age Bill they advocated for failed earlier in the session. The Bill would have raised the age of purchasing semi-automatic rifles from 18 years old to 21 years old.

Under the Bill, school employees who regularly interact with children would need to complete an “evidence-based mental health first-aid training program.” The TEA would reimburse the employee for the time and money spent on the training.

In counties with fewer than 350,000 people, the bill requires the sheriff to hold semi-annual meetings to discuss school safety and law enforcement response to “violent incidents.” This includes making sure there is a clear chain of command and that all radios are working.

Each district would be required to give the Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement a walkthrough and a map of each campus in an effort to avoid confusion when responding to an incident.

“This is a huge win for the safety of our children,” said Rep. Carrie Isaac, R-Dripping Springs.


Author: Ethan Klein

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