Gov. Greg Abbott is asking 500,000 Texas educators to weigh in on what Texas needs to do to prevent the next school shooting.
In response to the May 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting, when a gunman killed 10 people and injured 13, Abbott announced a new survey Wednesday for educators on preparedness for active shooter situations and other crises. It will inform the largest needs assessment on school safety in Texas history.
The resulting needs assessment advise inform lawmakers of “ways in which the State of Texas can further support educators' needs regarding safety, mental health, and violence in schools,” according to a press release. Lawmakers passed a number of school safety measures last year that strengthened mental health initiatives for students and allocated money to districts toward “hardening” their campuses.
"The State of Texas remains committed to ensuring our educators and campuses have the support they need to address safety, mental health, and threats of violence in our schools," Abbott said. "This survey is a vital part of that commitment, and I encourage all potential respondents to participate. This will assist in our continued work to secure our schools and proactively address mental health among our students.”
The survey and assessment are being conducted by Sam Houston State University and the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University, and funding for the survey has been provided by the governor's public safety office. The efforts are a continuation of the School and Firearm Safety Action Plan Abbott released after the Santa Fe shooting.
“I am grateful to Sam Houston State University and the Texas School Safety Center for their leadership on this important initiative,” Abbott said. “Together, we will ensure the safety and security of our students and teachers.”
The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. It is not clear whether the survey results will be publicly available or when the needs assessment will be completed.
Disclosure: Texas State University and Sam Houston State University have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.