Aug 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Uvalde school district to add officers on campuses following mass shooting

Texas Highway Patrol troopers stand in front of a memorial for the victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 27 in Uvalde, Texas. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced new school safety protocols for the Uvalde school district Wednesday, months after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School took the lives of 19 children and two adults.

Why it matters: As the new academic year approaches, the measures are intended to ensure students, parents and faculty feel secure as they return to school following the May shooting, Abbott said in a news release.

Details: The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will provide more than 30 law enforcement officers to campuses throughout the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.

  • The security presence was requested by district superintendent Hal Harrell, according to the release.

What they're saying: "The beginning of a new school year should be an exciting time for students and teachers," Abbott said in a written statement.

  • "Texas will keep working to provide all available support and resources to the Uvalde community as they continue to heal," the governor added.
  • "We know going back to school will be especially challenging for many in Uvalde," DPS director Steven McCraw said.
  • He added that the state and the school district are working to "ensure each child, parent, and teacher feels safe and protected during this difficult time. There is no task more important than this.”

The big picture: Local and state law enforcement officials faced fierce criticism as to why it took so long for officers to confront the shooter.

  • Nearly 400 law enforcement officers responded to the scene of the mass shooting, according to an investigative report by a Texas House of Representatives committee
  • The officers who responded to the scene lacked clear leadership and communication as well as urgency to stop the gunman, the report found, per the Texas Tribune.
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