Today is the first day back at school for Santa Fe HS students

Santa Fe High School students return to class today after the deadly shooting Friday, May 18.

Meanwhile educators are cramming for more ways to keep them and all school children safe across the state.

Last week, three days of roundtables were held with students, parents, educators, community leaders, legislators, judges, law enforcement, mental health experts and people on both sides of firearms …….

The School Safety Center is based at Texas State University in San Marcos and is the central clearing house for school safety in the state and provides training, research and technical assistance to schools.

Texas School Safety Center Director Kathy Martinez-Prather was at the roundtables all three days. She said they’ve been talking about what to do in the short term and long term.

A preventative tool would be creating behavioral assessment teams in schools made up of a counselor, principal or vice principal and law enforcement officer working in the school to:

1.        identify those students who have warning signs in crisis to harm themselves or others

2.       More situational awareness of those students who might be posing a threat to the school environment and other students

3.       Providing with them the appropriate intervention to avert an act of violence

“The ratio between students and counselors is insufficient. And, when you have a school with one counselor and 1,000 students, it’s very challenging to identify those students that are in crisis,” said Martinez-Prather.

Before the next school year starts, they’re already looking to do some immediate training

Martinez-Prather said there's a big emphasis on schools collaborating with their local law enforcement and development of their emergency operations plans.

“We’ll be focusing on training schools this summer on the standard response protocol, which is a multi-hazard based response for any type of hazard,” said Martinez-Prather.

She said that includes lockdown, lockout, evacuation and sheltering in place.

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