TEXAS – One month after ten people were killed in a shooting at Santa Fe High School, school leaders across Texas are still working to improve safety for students.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott unveiled a school safety plan proposing to arm teachers, increase police in schools and invest in mental health. Safety was the topic of discussion in the Senate Select Committee on Violence and School Security last week.
When it comes to mental health, the governor wants to give schools the ability to allocate money for mental health services. Abbott hopes schools will be able to hire more counselors, and have them focus solely on providing mental guidance.
The safety plan has come with opposition from the Lone Star State School Association, which states that school counselors shouldn't be alone in improving students' mental health. They believe teachers and administrators need to be involved in health services too. Aside from behavioral help, school counselors are also tasked with college applications and class scheduling.
Santa Fe Independent School District has created their own committee: Strong Safety and Security Committee. They consist of local parents, teachers, staff, mental health professionals, local law enforcement and emergency personnel.
The committee will look at ways to improve safety on-campus, which could include clear backpacks, increasing access to mental health services, monitoring social media for potential threats, and changing communication protocols during emergencies.
The group meets for the first time on Tuesday, June 19.
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