New Texas Shool Safety Law Requires Armed Person on Campuses

armed Texas school officer

Texas Lawmakers approve school safety bill that requires an armed person at every Texas school campus

Texas lawmakers have passed a comprehensive school safety measure in response to the tragic Uvalde school shooting, which claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults. The bill, known as House Bill 3, has been sent to Governor Greg Abbott for approval. It includes various provisions aimed at enhancing school security and addressing mental health concerns.

One significant requirement of the bill is the posting of an armed security officer at every school campus. This provision was initially removed by the Senate but was reinstated during negotiations. The armed person can be a peace officer, school resource officer, school marshal, or school district employee.

Opponents of the bill have expressed concerns about the provision mandating armed personnel in schools, arguing that fewer guns, not more, are the solution to preventing mass shootings. Nevertheless, the bill passed in the House with a notable margin of 93-49.

The legislation also grants the state more authority to compel school districts to develop active-shooter plans. It establishes the Texas School Safety Center, which will review best practices for securing campuses every five years. Regional safety teams will conduct intruder detection audits at least once a year.

To ensure accountability and compliance, the bill creates a safety and security department within the Texas Education Agency. This department will have the power to enforce robust active-shooter protocols and supervise school districts failing to meet the agency's standards.

Additionally, the bill requires the TEA to develop standards for notifying parents about "violent activity" on campus and establishes school safety review teams to conduct vulnerability assessments of all school campuses annually.

The legislation allocates funding to support school safety measures. Each school district will receive $15,000 per campus, along with $10 per student, although some officials argue that this amount is insufficient. Furthermore, the TEA will receive $1.1 billion to administer school safety grants across the state's 1,000+ school districts.

One aspect of the bill focuses on mental health training. School employees who regularly interact with children will be required to complete an evidence-based mental health first-aid training program. The TEA will reimburse employees for their time and expenses related to the training.

In counties with fewer than 350,000 residents, the bill mandates semi-annual meetings led by the sheriff to discuss school safety and law enforcement response to violent incidents. These meetings aim to establish clear chains of command and ensure functional communication systems.

The bill also emphasizes coordination between schools and law enforcement agencies. Each school district must provide the Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement agencies with campus walkthroughs and maps to facilitate an efficient and coordinated response in case of emergencies.

The passage of House Bill 3 reflects lawmakers' commitment to prioritizing school safety in the aftermath of the Uvalde tragedy. However, some parents of the Uvalde victims expressed disappointment when a bill they supported to raise the age limit for purchasing semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 failed earlier in the session.

Now awaiting Governor Abbott's approval, this comprehensive legislation aims to enhance security measures, address mental health concerns, and establish protocols to prevent and respond to violent incidents in Texas schools.

Which Countries Have The Most Dangerous Schools Besides The United States?

Determining the most dangerous countries for students to attend school can be a complex task as it involves considering various factors such as conflict, violence, terrorism, crime rates, and safety infrastructure. It's important to note that conditions can change over time, and rankings may vary depending on the specific criteria used. However, based on available data and historical context, here are some countries that have faced significant challenges in terms of school safety:
  1. Afghanistan: Ongoing conflict, terrorist activities, and attacks on schools make Afghanistan a challenging environment for education.
  2. Nigeria: The presence of Boko Haram and other extremist groups has led to frequent attacks on schools, particularly in the northeastern regions of the country.
  3. Syria: The civil war in Syria has resulted in the destruction of many schools and educational infrastructure, making it a dangerous environment for students.
  4. Somalia: Years of civil war and the presence of armed groups have greatly affected the safety and accessibility of education in Somalia.
  5. Yemen: The ongoing conflict in Yemen has had a severe impact on the education system, with attacks on schools and lack of access to quality education.
  6. South Sudan: Political instability, armed conflict, and high levels of violence have disrupted education and posed risks to students in South Sudan.
  7. Democratic Republic of the Congo: Armed conflicts, displacement, and the presence of armed groups have created a challenging environment for education in certain regions of the country.
  8. Pakistan: Instances of terrorism, particularly attacks targeting schools, have affected the safety of students in certain areas of Pakistan.
  9. Mexico: High levels of violence, organized crime, and drug-related activities have impacted the safety of schools in some regions of Mexico.
  10. Colombia: Despite significant improvements in recent years, Colombia still faces challenges related to violence and armed conflict that can affect the safety of schools in certain areas.
It's important to note that this ranking is not exhaustive, and the safety of schools can vary within countries. Additionally, efforts are constantly being made to improve safety and access to education in these regions. If you are planning to travel or work in any of these countries, it is crucial to research and stay updated on the latest security information and guidance from local authorities and international organizations.

8 Reasons Why There Might Be More School Shootings

school shootings chart

The increase in shootings is a complex issue that has multiple factors. Here are some possible reasons:

  1. Access to firearms: In many countries, firearms are easily accessible, which increases the likelihood of people obtaining them, including those who intend to use them for violent purposes.
  2. Mental health issues: Some individuals who commit shootings may suffer from mental health issues that are undiagnosed or untreated.
  3. Socioeconomic factors: Some research has suggested that there may be a correlation between poverty, inequality, and violence.
  4. Culture of violence: Some experts argue that a culture of violence in certain communities or in society as a whole may contribute to an increase in shootings.
  5. Political instability: In some cases, political instability, civil unrest, or conflict can contribute to an increase in violence and shootings. 
  6. Social isolation: Many school shooters report feeling socially isolated or rejected by their peers. This feeling of isolation can be compounded by social media and other online platforms, which can amplify feelings of loneliness and rejection. 
  7. Copycat behavior: After a high-profile school shooting, there may be an increase in copycat behavior, as individuals who identify with the shooter's ideology or actions may be inspired to carry out similar attacks. 
  8. Lack of resources for schools: Many schools lack the resources necessary to provide adequate mental health support to students or to implement effective violence prevention programs.

It's important to note that school shootings are still relatively rare events, and that schools are generally safe places for students. However, any school shooting is a tragedy, and it's important for policymakers, educators, and communities to work together to prevent these incidents from occurring.

It is worth noting that while shootings have received a lot of media attention, they are still relatively rare events compared to other forms of violence, such as domestic violence, assault, and robbery. Nonetheless, reducing shootings and violence of all kinds is an important goal for society to work towards.

The number of shootings in the USA can vary greatly from year to year, and it depends on how one defines a "shooting." However, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks data on gun-related incidents in the US, there were 43,562 incidents of gun violence in 2021, resulting in 23,992 deaths and 45,112 injuries. Of those incidents, 610 were mass shootings, which are defined as incidents in which four or more people are shot, not including the shooter.

It's worth noting that this data includes all incidents of gun violence, including suicides and incidents where no one was injured. However, it provides a rough estimate of the number of shootings in the US.

How Safe Are Public Schools Today?

keep schools safe sign

The safety of public schools today can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the location of the school, the size of the school, and the policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Overall, schools in the United States have implemented a number of safety measures in recent years to help prevent incidents of violence or other threats to student safety. Many schools have implemented security cameras, metal detectors, and other technologies to monitor the school environment and identify potential threats.

Schools have also taken steps to train staff and students on how to respond to emergencies, such as active shooter situations. Many schools conduct regular safety drills to ensure that students and staff know how to respond in an emergency situation.

While schools have implemented these safety measures, it's important to note that incidents of violence or threats to student safety can still occur. Schools and communities must remain vigilant and work together to identify and address potential threats to student safety.

It's also important to note that while violence in schools can be a concern, schools remain some of the safest places for students to be. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the rate of violent incidents in schools has declined in recent years. Schools continue to work to ensure that students are safe and that they have the resources and support they need to succeed.

Crime in public schools is a concern for many students, parents, and educators. While schools are generally safe places, incidents of violence, theft, and other crimes can occur.

The most common types of crimes that occur in public schools include theft, drug use and possession, assault, and vandalism. In some cases, more serious incidents such as homicide or sexual assault may occur.

Schools have taken a number of steps to address crime and improve safety on their campuses. This includes implementing security measures such as metal detectors, security cameras, and security personnel. Schools have also established partnerships with law enforcement agencies to help identify and address potential threats to student safety.

It's important to note that not all schools are the same, and the level of crime can vary depending on factors such as the location of the school, the demographics of the student body, and the policies and procedures in place to address crime and ensure student safety.

Students, parents, and educators should work together to identify potential risks and develop strategies to address them. This may include implementing more effective discipline policies, providing counseling and mental health services to students, and increasing parental involvement in school activities.

Overall, while crime in public schools is a concern, schools and communities can work together to create a safer environment for students and prevent incidents of crime and violence from occurring.

What Is Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a federal program that forgives the remaining balance on certain federal student loans for borrowers who work full-time for qualifying public service employers. The program was created in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) and is intended to incentivize borrowers to pursue public service careers by offering loan forgiveness after a certain period of time.

To be eligible for PSLF, borrowers must make 120 qualifying payments while working full-time for a qualifying employer. Qualifying employers include government organizations, non-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and other types of non-profit organizations that provide certain types of qualifying public services.

Borrowers must also have qualifying loans, which include Direct Loans (including Direct Consolidation Loans) and some older federal loans that have been consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan. Private student loans and Parent PLUS loans are not eligible for PSLF.

Once borrowers have met the eligibility requirements, the remaining balance on their qualifying loans is forgiven tax-free. The forgiven amount is not considered income, so borrowers do not have to pay income taxes on the amount forgiven.

It's important to note that not all public service jobs qualify for PSLF, and not all borrowers will be eligible for the program. Borrowers should carefully review the eligibility requirements and the application process before pursuing PSLF.

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