On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott directed Education Commissioner Mike Morath to create a “Chief of School Safety and Security” at the Texas Education Agency to oversee efforts to secure schools from gun violence.
In a letter to Morath, the governor said the chief “should enhance all agency services by increasing communication and collaboration among the professionals at TEA, the Texas School Safety Center, the Department of Public Safety, the Health and Human Services Commission, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, the Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center, school districts, and others. The Chief must ensure that Texas schools are implementing the school safety policies passed by the legislature and take every action possible to ensure that schools are using best practices to safeguard against school shootings or other dangers.”
“Better communication and coordination can be a positive step forward,” said Texas AFT President Zeph Capo. “The governor, however, is doing everything he can think of for safety while avoiding the foundation for what’s needed: sensible legislation on gun access and use.”