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Senate Passes Bill To Prepare Texas Teachers For Campus Shooter Situation

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio
TPR News

A bill that helps  to train teachers and school administrators to take action during a school shooting is working its way through the legislature.  

Following several changes, SB 17, a bill authored by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, passed the Senate, but initially fellow lawmakers were concerned with the cost, which was originally listed at $9 million.

"The fiscal note - that was assuming every school district in the state was going to allow CHL to carry. This may be a matter of a very little bit of money, but this addresses your concern I believe," Patrick said.

An amendment to the bill institutes a $1 million cap that the state is willing to spend every two years on training teachers to respond during a campus shooting. That change did not sway all those in the senate.

Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, voted against the bill.

"If you are going to do this I think it should be done in a way that I think is more uniform. Even with the amendment to try and avoid the fiscal note I think it creates a patchwork approach to it. The second thing is I still remain concerned about what happens when the police show up and they are trying to figure out who the bad guys are and who the good guys are," Watson said.

Patrick said school districts with their own security department would not be able to receive funding for additional gun training.

He said about six school districts have started allowing teachers to carry their guns with them on campus - something he said the law already allows.  

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.