Texas Legislature Looks to Expand School Safety

Seven months after the Santa Fe High School shooting, school safety remains a top priority for Texas lawmakers heading into the next legislative session.

What will likely become Senate Bill 1, based on recommendations from the Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security, is expected to be a comprehensive school safety item that tackles everything from metal detectors to arming teachers.

“The ratio of students to marshals needs to be dropped,” says state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston. “We need to encourage that program because with any of these shootings, when it becomes an active shooter, seconds matter and seconds save lives.”

“Having somebody literally there with a weapon that can be used in self-defense for the school and for the kids is very important, and to have the proper training.”

There's also talk of expanding the TWITR Project developed out of Texas Tech to better help identify students with mental illness.

“When you look at all these ideas, you clearly have a mental health problem at the root of all this, so you have to attack that,” says Bettencourt.

Bettencourt expects the bill will easily pass both chambers and be signed by the governor.

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