On day of Nashville shooting, Texas House considers school safety bills

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — A surviving teacher from the 2018 Santa Fe shooting was driving up to the Texas Capitol to testify about school safety legislation when she and her husband heard the news that would come as a “gut-punch,” but not a surprise — another school shooting was happening in America.

On Monday morning, a 28-year-old female shooter targeted a private Nashville school, in which she was a former student. The woman wielded two AR-15-style weapons and a pistol, using the weapons to kill at least three children and three adults.

This latest violence on a school campus comes as Texans are still reeling from the worst school shooting in the state’s history in Uvalde last year, where a gunman used a similar rifle to murder 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.

Flo Rice was working as a substitute teacher at Santa Fe High School when a gunman shot her six times and killed 10 other people. Since the 2018 shooting, she and her husband — Scot Rice — have been coming to the Texas Capitol to advocate for policy changes. On Monday, they came to push lawmakers on increasing accountability standards for school districts’ safety measures.

“They’ve all been pushing the can down the road, just like Uvalde. They checked the box that said, ‘we’re going to make our school safe, and that we have done our threat assessment and we’re good,'” Scot Rice said. “We know from the aftermath and from their investigation that they didn’t do anything they were supposed to do.”

After Uvalde, the Texas House formed the Committee on Youth Health and Safety. They are scheduled to hear 17 bills relating to school safety on Monday. Chief among them is House Bill 3, the legislature’s sweeping school safety bill authored by the chairman of the House’s Uvalde investigation.

HB 3 would implement new security requirements for physical infrastructure and intruder auditing, as well as require an armed security officer on every public school campus in Texas.

“If you don’t have someone there to actually address an active shooter, they’re gonna continue to shoot and kill,” said Charles Ramirez, Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD police chief. “I think we’re on the right track.”

Ramirez worried, however, that more strict enforcement is needed for existing security requirements.

“They need to make sure that each campus meets the minimum standards for badge readers, for cameras, for locking doors,” he said. “Some of the things come off as a suggestion instead of more of a mandate. I’d like to see more mandates along with this.”

As of 6:30 p.m. Monday, the committee was still hearing testimony. The changes in HB 3 have bipartisan support and are expected to pass through the committee.

Survivors like Flo and Scot hope they take effect before the next tragedy strikes a Texas school.

“We don’t know what to do. But we just keep trying,” Scot said. “We just keep coming and putting ourselves in front of them. And hopefully, something’s going to stick to the wall and we’ll get something passed.”

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Vertical Lobby is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – admin@verticallobby.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment