Houston Matters

First Roundtable Discussion On Preventing School Shootings Takes Place In Austin

NPR’s John Burnett was in Austin and updates Houston Matters on who will take part in this week’s meetings.

Gov. Abbott - School Safety Roundtable
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a roundtable discussion on school safety, May 22, 2018 in Austin. It was the first of several planned discussions following the shooting at Santa Fe High School.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott hosted the first in a series of meetings on school safety Tuesday. The roundtable discussions come just days after eight students and two teachers were killed in the shooting at Santa Fe High School.

NPR’s John Burnett was in Austin and updated Houston Matters host Craig Cohen us on the progress of the meetings.

Burnett says the meetings are designed to bring all the stakeholders together. That means state officials, such as House Speaker Joe Straus, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and heads of legislative committees dealing with security.

The biggest group will be comprised of school district officials and members of law enforcement who’ve done active shooter response training. There will even be an architect on hand to discuss school design, along with representatives from the gun reform group Texans for Gun Sense, and survivors of the shootings in both Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, Burnett said.

Gov. Abbott - School Safety Roundtable2
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a roundtable discussion on school safety, May 22, 2018 in Austin. It was the first of several planned discussions following the shooting at Santa Fe High School.

Today’s meeting comes as some lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are calling for the governor to order a special session on school shootings. While it’s unclear whether that will happen, Burnett said Gov. Abbott’s discussions this week are still notable.

“Even the fact that he — with his record as a super-strong proponent of the Second Amendment — has convened these roundtables and invited Texans for Gun Sense is sort of significant,” Burnett said.

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