AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick commended the Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security today which has just concluded its final committee meeting. Chaired by Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, the committee has taken testimony from over 150 witnesses on school violence and security issues.
“Senator Taylor and the select committee have done an outstanding job examining the many approaches to addressing the issue of school violence. They have heard from experts on infrastructure and school design, including securing entrances and exits, and looked at strategies to increase the presence of law enforcement in schools and arming school personnel. They also examined a number of issues related to the root causes of school violence including mental health issues, substance abuse, and other risk factors.
“Regarding the topic of ‘Red Flag’ laws, which was discussed today in the select committee, I have never supported these policies, nor has the majority of the Texas Senate. A bill offered last session garnered little support. Governor Greg Abbott formally asked the legislature to consider ‘Red Flag’ laws in May so I added them to the charges I gave to the select committee. However, Gov. Abbott has since said he doesn’t advocate ‘Red Flag’ laws.
“I have made it clear that school safety will be a top priority next legislative session and I have encouraged school superintendents to move forward with steps they identify to enhance security before the coming school year.”
The Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security also includes Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, who serves as vice chair. Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, and Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, serve as members.