Governor Greg Abbott’s (R) security plan in response to the Santa Fe High School attack includes placing armed veterans in Texas schools for defense of students and teachers, Breitbart reports.
Details are set forth in the School and Firearm Safety Action Plan, released May 30, 2018.
he plan calls for a greater law enforcement presence throughout Texas schools by all means necessary. This includes having officers use schools as a stop for “breaks, lunch, or to file reports.” Abbott’s plan also asks schools “to provide office space for a local or state law enforcement official to work from.” He is asking the state to consider grants to help school’s offset the cost of providing such space and accommodating a great law enforcement presence.
Abbott’s plan also focuses on the use of retired police officers and employing veterans to serve as armed patrols in Texas schools:
IMMEDIATELY INCREASE LAW ENFORCEMENT PRESENCE AT SCHOOLS
Among those who attended the roundtables, students, education leaders, and law enforcement officials agreed
that the best way to deal with a school shooting is to prevent it in the first place. One way they suggested doing so
was with a greater law enforcement presence on campus. There are multiple ways to achieve that goal.
Recommendation: Schools should collaborate with local law enforcement to heighten police presence on
This can be done by adding campuses to regular patrol routes and allowing law enforcement to use campus facilities
for breaks, lunch, or to file reports. Additionally, schools should strive to provide office space for a local or state law
enforcement official to work from. A greater presence on campus may also create bonds between students and law
To assist this process, the state should consider offering a $10,000 matching grant to schools that draw down
federal funds to help defray any increased costs of patrols or making accommodation for law enforcement to
otherwise be present on campuses as an augment to existing security.
Recommendation: Prioritize hiring retired peace officers – specifically police, sheriffs, and constables – and
military veterans for school security.
School law enforcement personnel – often referred to as School Resource Officers (SROs) – are praised by students,
faculty, and parents. Many recommendations have flowed in to increase SROs by using veterans and former law
Texas public schools are permitted to hire any person who is a licensed peace officer to provide campus security.
Texas retired and off-duty peace officers already have extensive firearms and emergency response training, and
many would be willing and able to protect Texas campuses. Texas should authorize schools to prioritize recruitment
and hiring of such personnel to protect their campuses and their student bodies, faculty, employees, and guests.
Hiring should prioritize individuals with the most applicable skill sets (i.e., former police, sheriffs, and constables).
In addition, the state should create a pathway for our veterans – many of whom have extensive firearm training –
to help protect our schools through a modified school marshal program that ensures they have the appropriate
training to transition their expertise into the campus environment. Veterans who complete tailored training and
background checks should have the ability to once again serve their communities in times of need.
AWRHawkins at Breitbart reports that Abbott is also focused on arming more teachers. Fox 5 reports that Texas has 1,000 school districts, and approximately 170 of those districts allow teachers and school staff to be armed on campus for self-defense. Abbott’s plan would increase the number of armed teachers and staff so that individuals intent on harming innocents will have to deal with the fact that good guys with guns are at the ready.
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