Gov. Greg Abbott asks 500,000 Texas educators to weigh in on preventing next school shooting


Police tape in front of Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, on May 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

Gov. Greg Abbott is asking 500,000 Texas educators to weigh in on what Texas needs to do to prevent the next school shooting.

In response to the May 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting, when a gunman killed 10 people and injured 13, Abbott on Wednesday announced a new survey for educators on preparedness for active shooter situations and other crises that will inform the largest needs assessment on school safety in Texas history.

The resulting needs assessment will inform lawmakers of “ways in which the State of Texas can further support educators' needs regarding safety, mental health, and violence in schools,” according to a press release. Lawmakers last year passed a number of school safety measures that strengthened mental health initiatives for students and allocated money to districts toward “hardening” their campuses.

"The State of Texas remains committed to ensuring our educators and campuses have the support they need to address safety, mental health, and threats of violence in our schools," Abbott said. "This survey is a vital part of that commitment, and I encourage all potential respondents to participate. This will assist in our continued work to secure our schools and proactively address mental health among our students.”

The survey and assessment are being conducted by Sam Houston State University and the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University, and funding for the survey has been provided by the Office of the Governor's Public Safety Office. The efforts are a continuation of the School and Firearm Safety Action Plan Abbott released after the Santa Fe shooting,

“I am grateful to Sam House State University and the Texas School Safety Center for their leadership on this important initiative,” Abbott said. “Together, we will ensure the safety and security of our students and teachers.”

The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. It is not clear whether the survey results will be publicly available or when the needs assessment will be completed.