Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has directed state officials to conduct random, unannounced safety inspections in schools, according to a letter sent to Texas School Safety Center Director Dr. Kathy Martinez-Prather.
The school safety reviews come after 19 children and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary in Uvalde. Abbott said the tragedy "requires us all to do more" and that the safety reviews are to ensure all Texas public schools maximize school safety.
"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," Abbott said in the letter. "Among other reviews, your team should begin conducting in-person, unannounced, random intruder detection audits on school districts."
I'm directing @TxSchoolSafety to immediately conduct comprehensive school safety reviews of Texas public schools.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 1, 2022
Among other reviews, the Texas School Safety Center should begin conducting in-person, unannounced, random intruder detection audits on school districts.
The Texas School Safety Center was asked to immediately begin work with the governor's office to provide recommendations that will improve current security systems.
“This issue will no doubt be at the forefront of the next Legislative Session,” the governor wrote. “You have my full support to make recommendations for consideration by the Legislature.”
On Wednesday Abbott also called for legislative committees to meet and take action that would prevent future school shootings.
Abbott is asking the committees to develop recommendations on five issues: School safety, mental health, social media, police training and firearm safety.
"We as a state, we as a society, need to do a better job with mental health," Abbott said during a news conference at Robb Elementary School.
In April, Abbott slashed $211 million from mental health programs overseen by the state.
This story was originally published by Khadeeja Umana of KXXV in central Texas.