• School Safety Audits in the Wake of the Last Mass Shooting
  • March 14, 2018 | Author: Jake Posey
  • Law Firm: The Posey Law Firm, P.C. - Austin Office
  • Texas, albeit a more gun-friendly state than most, is not immune to such considerations. While any legislation will have to wait for the next regular session of the legislature, Gov. Gregg Abbott is moving to "name" school districts that have not complied with state-mandated safety checks.

    According to the Dallas Morning News, since 2005, Texas public schools and community colleges are required to have plans in place to handle a variety of natural and human-caused disasters, including the presence of an active shooter. School employees are required to be trained in such procedures and drills should take place periodically. According to the law, school districts are required to conduct safety audits every three years and submit the results to the Texas School Safety Center. The period for the current audit started in September 2017.

    Gov. Abbot plans to list schools that have not completed a safety audit in the next 45 days online and in a press release. However, education groups are maintaining that such publicity would make schools that have not yet completed a safety audit a target. They suggest that instead, the state should provide school districts the resources they need to complete said audits and to make schools in Texas safer and more secure. The audit is a set of questions involving such things as alarms, evacuation procedures, and visitor security.

    Ironically, despite the publicity that high-casualty shootings such as the one that happened in Florida, Texas schools have become safer in the past ten years. The number of incidents involving a prohibited weapon has been cut roughly in half, though those involving firearms have slightly increased. Experts point to an overall decrease in juvenile crime as the reason.