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Education

New Texas Laws Focus On School Safety, Mental Health

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Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio
Gov. Greg Abbott signed three bills focused on mental health and school safety inspired by the tragic shooting at Santa Fe High School.

Three bills inspired by the school shooting at Santa Fe High School in 2018 are now law. They aim to provide greater access to training for both students and educators on school safety and students' mental health.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Senate Bill 11, House Bill 18 and House Bill 1387 represent the collective ideas put forth by his office’s school safety action plan.  

The legislation will help train teachers to spot acute mental illness on campus and create school-based mental health centers and on-campus mental health counseling services for students.

“It would be good and general for those students, but it would also it would be very helpful to reduce the type of behavior that could lead to a student – like what happened in Santa Fe – go into a school and shoot fellow students,” Abbott said.  

The bills also eliminate the state cap on the number of armed on-campus school marshals a school district of any size could deploy.

Ryan Poppe can be reached at RPoppe@TPR.org and on Twitter at @RyanPoppe1.