PASADENA, Texas – Sen. John Cornyn hosted a roundtable and news conference Wednesday in Pasadena to discuss the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which provided $10 million in grants to Houston-area schools for campus safety.
This law also included a $10.8 billion investment into mental health for Americans.
Cornyn helped create the legislation, which was signed into law in 2022. It gave resources to other schools around Texas as well.
Several officials with the Pasadena Independent School District, Pasadena Memorial High School, Katy ISD, University of Houston-Victoria, Galena Park ISD, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Alief ISD, Spring Branch ISD and students attended the meeting.
“Unfortunately, today is a sad anniversary. One year ago today, a gunman killed some innocent children at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas,” Cornyn said.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act focuses on school safety, and it enhanced background checks for ages 18 to 20 trying to purchase guns.
“Congress is not well known for passing legislation involving guns, and obviously, we have a challenge dealing with the fact that the right to bear arms is a constitutional right. But, everybody seems to agree that it’s good to keep guns out of the hands of people who are mentally ill or people with criminal records” Cornyn said.
The senator also toured Pasadena Memorial High School to see what changes were made with the new resources.
Officials said they added new fences, safety film on all exterior doors and video management systems.
Pasadena ISD also created its Safe School Ambassadors Program, which is focused on putting a stop to bullying with students help. The group meets monthly to try to make their school safer.
The district added an anonymous alerting system that allows students to message school officials if they’re worried about their safety.