School safety recommendations released by Texas Senate committee

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – Texas schools could get help from the Capitol to protect students from school violence. The Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security released its final report, with recommendations for possible legislation.

The committee was formed after the deadly school shootings in May in Santa Fe, Texas.  The senators had four interim charges: improving school design to improve security, studying school security options and resources (including armed school personnel), studying the root causes of mass murder in schools, and examining whether to consider “Red Flag” laws to temporarily remove firearms from a person who poses a threat to themselves or others.

Senators on the committee did not recommend moving forward with legislation to add “Red Flag” laws in Texas.

The lawmakers did make several recommendations to improve school security. Ideas include legislation to help schools pay to add metal detectors and “hardened” entrances. The committee also suggested legislation to pay for training for school marshals who can carry guns on campuses. The committee also looked for ways to make school counselors more available to students and for ways that districts can provide additional mental health training to school employees.

The recommendations could pave the way for new laws in the next legislative session.  Lawmakers will begin that session on Jan. 8.

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