Abbott orders Texas officials to conduct random ‘intruder detection’ audits at schools

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has ordered Texas officials to conduct “in-person, unannounced, random intruder detection audits” at school districts after a shooting at an elementary school last month left 21 people dead.

“I am charging the [Texas School Safety Center], in coordination with [Texas Education Agency], to develop and implement a plan to conduct random inspections to assess access control measures of Texas school districts. Among other reviews, your team should begin conducting in-person, unannounced, random intruder detection audits on school districts,” he wrote to the TxSCC’s director, Kathy Martinez-Prather.

“Staff should approach campuses to find weak points and how quickly they can penetrate buildings without being stopped. This will help determine if schools are prepared to implement and follow the [School Safety Emergency Operations Plans] they have already submitted to the state,” he added.

He also requested that Martinez-Prather contact every school district in the state to remind each district’s individual School Safety and Security Committee to meet together this summer. She was also tasked with reminding districts to have them review their emergency operations plans and ensure campus safety procedures trainings for their staff before the start of the next school year, among other requests.

“The TxSSC will provide a progress report of these findings to the Office of the Governor and the Legislature by October 1, 2022. I will work with TxSSC, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Legislature to hold accountable any districts that do not meet these requirements,” Abbott wrote.

Abbott’s letter came against the backdrop of a recent shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two adults dead.

On Wednesday, the Texas governor sent a letter to his lieutenant governor and state House speaker asking them to create a special legislative committee addressing school safety, mental health, social media, police training and firearm safety.

“I request that these committees review what steps previous legislatures have enacted, what resources the State has made available to local school districts, and make recommendations to the Legislature and the Executive Branch so that meaningful action can be made on, among other things, the following topics to prevent future school shootings,” Abbott wrote. 

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