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Texas School Safety Laws: Impact on School Gun Violence?

Following the school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, citizens across the United States have been asking themselves a sadly familiar question: What more could have been done to prevent the attack?

On Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott unveiled his answer to that question through his School and Firearm Safety Action Plan.

The 43-page strategy document relies heavily on nearly $120 million in federal and state grants to protect students from school gun violence, reports Education Week. None of the proposals would be mandatory for school districts.

The plan was informed by a series of roundtable discussions Abbott held last week with school leaders and law enforcement officials. But, as the New York Times reports, the plan is being heavily criticized by gun control advocates.

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Here are a few highlights from Abbott’s plan:

    • Expand the school marshal program, which trains teachers and other staff to use guns. Currently, 170 school districts participate in the program. Under the new plan, the state would offer expansion for free to districts who wish to participate.


    • Increase the presence of law enforcement on K-12 campuses. Under Gov. Abbott’s proposal, the state would provide $10,000 in grants to help in the effort.


    • Install new alarm systems specifically for active shooters that would sound different from common fire alarms.


    • Reduce the amount of school entrances and add metal detectors in school buildings to boost campus security.


    • Expand by $20 million a Texas Tech University program that identifies and intervenes with students who pose potential threats.


    • Create a new app that allows students, teachers, and parents to easily report threats.


    • Pass a new law that requires parents to keep guns out of the hands of anyone under the age of 18. The current law requires this for anyone under 17.


    • Require citizens to report missing or stolen guns within 10 days.


    • Urge lawmakers to allow families or law enforcement to ask for guns to be taken away from people who are potentially dangerous–also known as “red flag laws.”


What do you think of Abbott’s plan? Does it go far enough? Will these strategies help reduce school gun violence? Tell us in the comments.