The Latest: Shooting survivors want more armed security
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on meetings being held by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott following the mass shooting at a high school near Houston (all times local):
Several students who survived last week’s school shooting at a Texas high school told Gov. Greg Abbott they want more armed security and armed teachers to help prevent future attacks.
Metal detectors outside schools and better mental health services and counseling were also brought up during the meeting that lasted more than three hours.
Abbott met for several hours Thursday with students and parents from Santa Fe High School and survivors from the November 2017 shooting at a Texas church that left more than two dozen worshippers dead. It was the last of three meetings the governor called to gather ideas on how to stop future attacks.
Abbott has not said what policy changes or laws he’ll propose.
Santa Fe High School will have extra security when students return to class for the first time since a shooting inside the Texas school left 10 people dead last week.
Santa Fe Independent School District issued a statement Thursday about its preparations to resume classes. Teachers and staff reported to work Wednesday, but students won’t return until early next week. The district says law enforcement agencies from “across the state” will be on campus.
The district says its staff members participated in group and individual counseling sessions on Wednesday to begin “processing through their grief.” Therapy dogs were also provided.
The district didn’t respond to a question about how it will serve students who don’t want to return to campus yet.
A Santa Fe High School student is charged with killing eight students and two substitute teachers.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is meeting at the state Capitol with survivors of last week’s mass shooting at a high school near Houston and a similar attack in November at a rural Texas church.
Thursday’s closed-door meeting is the last of three days of talks Abbott called to address school safety and gun violence following the shooting at Santa Fe High School that killed 10 people.
The first two meetings focused on school security and tracking student mental health. The focus is shifting Thursday to people closest to the recent violence.
Abbott will meet with student survivors, along with people affected by the church shooting in Sutherland Springs that killed more than two dozen people.
Abbott says he wants to explore policies to prevent more violence, though it’s unclear when or if the staunch gun-rights advocate will announce new proposals or policy changes.
The focus of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s meetings on school safety and mass shootings is shifting to those closest to the recent violence, including students, surviving victims and even one person who grabbed a gun and fought back.
Thursday’s meeting will feature more than 30 people who can provide personal accounts of the attack on a high school in Santa Fe last week, and last November’s shooting at a rural church in Sutherland Springs.
Most of the invited are students, families and staff from Santa Fe. Also invited are two survivors of the church shooting, the church pastor, and Stephen Willeford, who has been hailed as a hero for grabbing a rifle and shooting back at the church attacker.
Abbott and Texas are being closely watched for how the state reacts to the violence of recent mass shootings.