AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today released a statement commending Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Speaker Dade Phelan for the quick response by their chambers and for the initial proposals addressing public and school safety following the recent tragedy at Robb Elementary School. The Governor had requested Texas legislative leaders convene special legislative committees to begin examining and developing legislative recommendations on school safety, mental health, social media, police training, firearm safety, and more.
"I applaud both the Lt. Governor and Speaker for quickly offering proposals that can immediately make schools safer, provide needed mental health support, and help our law enforcement officers on the front lines. I also thank them for quickly organizing special legislative committees to deliberate and propose solid solutions to address public and school safety. This is a great start to delivering not only on the needs of the Uvalde community, but for schools and communities across Texas. I look forward to working with them and the entire Texas legislature on these solutions and more to make our schools and communities safer for all Texans."
Governor Abbott has taken significant action to provide all available resources to support the Uvalde community following the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School. Those actions include:
- Initiating the State of Texas' comprehensive plan to assist and support members of the community, including co-locating state agency representatives to the Family Assistance Center for on-hand assistance in finding benefits.
- Issuing a disaster declaration at the request of local leaders to accelerate all available state and local resources to assist the Uvalde community.
- Requesting Texas legislative leaders convene special legislative committees to begin examining and developing legislative recommendations on school safety, mental health, social media, police training, firearm safety, and more.
- Directing the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) to begin immediately conducting comprehensive school safety reviews to ensure all Texas public schools are following the appropriate procedures to maximize school safety.
- Directing the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide strategies to make Texas public schools safer through heightened safety standards.
- Instructing the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) programs to provide training to all school districts across the state, prioritizing school-based law enforcement.
- Directing TEA, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to expand and accelerate the ability to report suspicious activity through the iWatchTexas reporting system.
- Investing an initial $5 million into establishing a long-term Family Resiliency Center in Uvalde County to serve as a hub for community services, including access to the critical mental health resources.
- Working with the OneStar Foundation to create a one-stop webpage for donations to support the victims' families, teachers, and the Uvalde community.
- Directing the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to ensure all children in Uvalde have access to behavioral health resources and community support.
- Directing TEA to create a new Chief of School Safety and Security position within the agency.