Governor Greg Abbott is Urging Public School Safety Improvements
On Wednesday, Governor Greg Abbott wrote a letter to Mike Morath, Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, urging steps be taken that ensure school safety across the state.
Last week, Governor Abbott made his first comments on the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. “It’s clear that the status quo is unacceptable, and everybody in every state must take action,” Abbott said to reporters, just minutes after casting his early vote in the March primary elections.
A student of Douglas High School, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, killed over seventeen people on Feb. 14, including fellow students and teachers, before he was finally arrested off campus.
Since then, Governor Greg Abbott has vowed to address the school safety concerns that many now have. Abbott begins his letter to Mike Morath by saying, “As Governor, I take seriously the safety of all Texas residents, and as an American, I mourn the loss of 17 Floridians in a cruel and senseless act of violence. State and national leaders must work towards solutions that reduce, and eventually eliminate, such heinous crimes. Education leaders, including you, must take immediate action to ensure that our school children are safe in Texas schools.”
In his letter to Morath, Abbott outlined several steps to be taken, including a 45 day deadline for all public school districts to complete a statutory safety audit.
If school districts do not complete the audit before the soft deadline, Abbott has asked Morath to publish a list of those school districts on the Texas Education Agency website and as a press release.
In his letter, Abbott has also asked the Texas Education Agency to work with his office, the Texas School Safety Center and the Texas Department of Public Safety, to draft potential legislation that would improve school safety architecture.