AUSTIN, Texas - State lawmakers have said school safety is a top priority this session, and a big component of that could come in the form of funding more mental health resources.
- Texas lawmakers to focus on mental health resources
- Klein ISD has created online portal for reporting of threats and mental health issues
- Similar systems exist throughout Texas
But as they hammer out the details of what that looks like, some Texas school districts aren't waiting to take action. Safety in the classroom is at the forefront of Texas teachers' minds.
"And as a parent of three school-age kids, it's on the forefront of my mind, as well," said Gregg Levin with K12 Insight.
While lawmakers work to find, and fund, a solution to the mental health needs in Texas public schools, Levin thinks his team has one It's an online portal that allows students, parents and teachers to report a threat or mental health issue.
Klein ISD in Houston has been using the system for about a year now. The site has a big, red button that when pressed takes you to a page called Keep Klein Safe. From there, a student could report something as simple as an unlocked door on campus after hours or open up about something they might be struggling with emotionally.
"It might be 'I'm considering harming myself and I need help,'" said Levin.
A mental health concern that's reported can be responded to within a couple minutes.
"With Klein specifically, it will go right to the chief of police, like that, in seconds," said Levin.
Similar systems exist and districts around the state are opting in for anonymous reporting portals, believing they offer a safe space for kids to express themselves - and a little peace of mind for parents.
"I think with safety being such a big conversation, this allows them to feel heard and seen and comfortable and confident sending their kids to school," said former teacher Sarah Burman.