School safety mandates from the governor important to East Texas educators

Governor Greg Abbott has lunch with his hosts, Representative Travis Clardy (l) and Senator Robert Nichols (r). (Source: KTRE Staff)
Governor Greg Abbott has lunch with his hosts, Representative Travis Clardy (l) and Senator Robert Nichols (r). (Source: KTRE Staff)
The Lone Star Legislative Summit is hosted by Clardy and Nichols, in conjunction with the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. (Source: KTRE Staff)
The Lone Star Legislative Summit is hosted by Clardy and Nichols, in conjunction with the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. (Source: KTRE Staff)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The panel discussion on school safety at Friday's Lone Star Legislative Summit was presented in front of a packed house.

The Lone Star Legislative Summit was held at Stephen F. Austin State University on Friday.

East Texas News learned that school districts are scrambling to follow Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's order to make classrooms safer.

A presentation on comprehensive school safety caught the attention of school administrators from throughout Deep East Texas. They know the governor's orders

"I issued instructions to the both our primary, secondary, as well as higher education institutions to make sure they are living up to what is required under the school safety plans," Abbott said.

Districts are reaching out to the Texas School Safety Center for security options. On Friday, its director provided best practices for protecting schools.

"One, do you have a multi-hazard emergency operations plan, do you engage in drilling and regular exercises? By and large, our school districts are doing a good job, but there's always room for improvement," said Kathy Martinez, the director of the Texas School Safety Center.

The governor is pleased more federal funding is proposed for school safety.

"To make sure we're going to provide even a greater, stronger more robust response to make sure our students are safe," Abbott said.

The governor appointed Paul Robbins to the task. He serves on the Texas state Safety Center Board. The Lufkin attorney with 27 years in law enforcement said educators understand their orders about safety.

"I don't think we'll ever go back to the lull that we were in before, where there's an immediate response to a tragedy and then everyone gets complacent," Robbins said. "I think the days of complacency are over."

There is a good reason for that. Abbott has given a deadline for school safety improvement.

"I want it done now," Abbott said.

The governor has received reports back from across Texas that schools are complying with current safety standards. He reiterated that more has to be done.

On Tuesday, Zavalla ISD has a special called meeting about security measures.

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