Texas Elected Officials Pass Bill Mandating Armed Security at All Schools

Policymakers in Texas recently passed a broad-based school safety bill to tighten security schools to prevent future mass shooting incidents.

On May 28, 2023, the Texas state legislature greenlit a bill that would mandate armed security at each school campus in the state and increase mental health training for school employees, among other provisions. 

The bill’s passage came shortly following the first anniversary of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas. That school shooting ended with the deaths of 19 children and two teachers, which turned out to be the deadliest in Texas history.

Law enforcement response to the Uvalde shooting was heavily criticized by the general public. The recently passed bill is emblematic of Republicans’ preference for bolstering security at schools and providing improved mental health screenings to deter future attacks.

Under House Bill 3, Texas schools would be mandated to place at least one armed security officer on campus on a daily basis during regular school hours. The armed individual could be either a peace officer, a school resource officer, a school marshal, or a school district employee who went through the state’s mandatory school safety training course. Each district school board would set the total number of armed personnel stationed at each campus.

On top of requiring armed security at schools, the bill would mandate any school district employee who routinely interacts with students to go through “an evidence-based mental health training program” with the aim of helping them respond to students who could pose a threat to school safety. Additionally, it establishes a new government office of school safety and security that the Governor presides over that would have the goal of establishing physical security standards for building access and active shooter protocols that local districts must abide by. 

This is a common sense way of addressing the mass shooter problem afflicting many educational institutions in the US. 

Ultimately, there needs to be an abolition of gun-free zones aka criminal safe spaces if we want to keep schools safe.

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