Tentative approval of the bill comes days after the one-year anniversary of a shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 dead and another 13 wounded.
The Texas House expanded a sweeping school safety bill that now calls for students to learn about domestic violence prevention, requires certain training for school resource officers, and would provide an undetermined amount of state money for campus security measures and mental health initiatives.
“This legislation is inspired by the students, faculty and staff at Santa Fe High School,” said state Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, the House sponsor of the bill.
The Senate overwhelmingly approved its version of SB 11 last month. It would strengthen mental health initiatives in Texas schools and ensure school districts’ employees — including substitute teachers — are equipped to respond to emergencies by requiring they have classroom access to a telephone and other electronic communication. It would also establish threat assessment teams to help identify potentially dangerous students and determine the best ways to intervene before they become violent. The reworked bill from the Texas House keeps these provisions in place.