Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday called for an immediate school safety review of the state's public schools following last week’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde that left 21 dead, including 19 children.
In a letter sent to Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) Director Kathy Martinez-Prather, the Republican governor directed the research center to conduct comprehensive school safety reviews to ensure that all Texas public schools follow the appropriate procedures to maximize school safety.
''The work and trainings provided by the Texas School Safety Center has reached thousands of schools and instructors and has benefited millions of Texas schoolchildren,'' the letter reads. ''However, the tragedy at Robb Elementary School last week requires us all to do more.
''I am charging the TxSSC, in coordination with the TEA, to develop and implement a plan to conduct random inspections to assess access control measures of Texas school districts. Among other reviews, your team should begin conducting in-person, unannounced, random intruder detection audits on school districts.
''Also, the TxSSC should immediately begin working with my office and the Legislature on recommendations to improve current security systems and determine the funding necessary to continue the work of hardening our schools against outside threats. Texans have never shirked away from a challenge, and I know with the support of state leadership, we can continue the work of improving each student’s experience in our schools.''
The TxSSC is a university-level research center at Texas State University tasked with key school safety initiatives and mandates.
Earlier on Wednesday, Abbott called for Texas lawmakers to meet for a special legislative session and come up with recommendations on ''meaningful action'' that can be taken in response to the mass shooting.
Abbott faces former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat, two independents and two third-party candidates in the Nov. 8 general election.
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