Texas Governor Ordered All Public Schools To Conduct “Unannounced, Random Intruder Detection Audits”

TEXAS (June 1, 2022)—today Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered all public schools to conduct “unannounced, random intruder detection audits” as a way to tighten school security in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

The mass shooting at Robb Elementary  left 21 dead and 17 injured last week.

In a letter penned Wednesday to the director of the Texas School Safety Center, Abbott requested that the center coordinate with the Texas Education Agency to perform the random intruder inspections by having staffers “find weak points” and attempt to quickly enter school buildings without being caught.

Abbott also instructed the center to require all Texas public schools to review and update their safety plans and security training by September and begin working on legislation related to “hardening our schools” for the 2023 session.

“Though much has been done, there is a clear, convincing, and urgent need to continue and
expand upon the work the TxSSC and school districts across the state are doing,” the letter read.

Abbott’s Safety Timeline

“The State must work beyond writing words on paper and ensuring that the laws are being followed; it must also ensure that a culture of constant vigilance is engrained in every campus and in every school
district employee across the state.”

To begin that process I request you do the following:

Under state law, school districts are required to create School Safety and Security Committees.
These groups are required to meet three times a year, and generally one meeting occurs during
the summer,” said Abbott.

Please contact every ISD immediately to communicate the expectation that all
districts will ensure the District Safety and Security Committee will meet this summer and that
before the start of the 2022-2023 school year, each district will:

  • 1. Ensure their School Safety and Security Committee meets to review their Emergency
    Operations Plan and address any campus safety needs. This includes reviewing their
    Active Threat plan.
  • 2. Ensure the School Behavioral Threat Assessment Team is trained and has reviewed
    procedures for each campus.
  • 3. Ensure that all staff and substitutes are trained on their specific district and campus safety
    procedures and that all drills are scheduled before the start of the next school year.
  • 4. Conduct an assessment of their access control procedures, such as single access points,
    locked instruction room doors, visitor check-in procedures, exterior door locks, etc.
  • 5. Complete these efforts by September 1, 2022, and certify this data to the TxSSC by
    September 9, 2022.

Abbott Request Progress Reports:

“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.”

Improving Accountability: TxSSC Required To Coordinate With TEA

I am charging the TxSSC, in coordination with TEA, 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. 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 EOPs they have already submitted to the state.

School Authority To Audit

Senate Bill 11, passed in the 2019 Legislative Session, gave the TxSSC significant
additional authority to audit School Safety Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs). If a school
district fails to satisfactorily submit an EOP, they are required by state law to hold a meeting to
notify the public of their noncompliance. If they fail to do that, the TEA can take over school
leadership and ensure the district takes these responsibilities seriously. I will work with TEA to
hold accountable any ISD that is not in compliance with these standards.

______________________

Source: Texas Governor

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