“The new mission scope is very much a continuation of Operation Lone Star, which has done little to reduce the number of illegal crossings into our state,” said Chris Russo.  In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the Texas Senate passed landmark border security legislation but still failed to include provisions for the state to repel illegal border-crossers. According to State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R–Granbury), the Senate’s committee substitute to House Bill 7 “will enhance border security operations, provide more tools to law enforcement and prosecutors, and increase the safety of our border regions in Texas.” However, Texans for Strong Borders President Chris Russo told Texas Scorecard, “The new mission scope is very much a continuation of Operation Lone Star, which has done little to reduce the number of illegal crossings into our state.” view article arw

After a teenage gunman entered Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School one year ago today, he fatally shot 19 children and two teachers and injured 17 people, perpetrating what became the deadliest school shooting in Texas history. The city of about 25,000 residents west of San Antonio was simultaneously plunged into incalculable grief and the epicenter of America’s debate on semi-automatic rifles. In the year since, investigations by state officials and journalists found lapses in public safety communication and leadership that contributed to significant delays in law enforcement action and medical care. view article arw

The coronavirus pandemic taught Americans to wear good masks, avoid big crowds and test often to stop the spread of viral illness. Also crucial, but not fully understood early in the crisis, is that indoor air quality is key to reducing viral transmission. Fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Friday pathbreaking new guidance to improve ventilation in buildings, with specific targets that can make a difference the next time a novel virus strikes — or even when a bad flu is going around. Although it wasn’t widely understood when the pandemic began, virus particles spread person-to-person when exhaled in both larger droplets that fall to the ground and smaller aerosols that hover for hours. Clouds of virus particles do not disperse easily in stagnant indoor air. Just recall the dark days of the pandemic, when the virus stalked cruise ships, church choirs, prisons, meatpacking plants and other tight, enclosed spaces. Outdoors, the air moves faster and virus particles dissipate more quickly. view article arw

WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – Adults and children alike face mental health challenges. 1 in 5 children experience mental health issues within a given year. The Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network urges Central Texans to look for the warning signs in their children. view article arw

Four of the eight people killed in the North Texas attack were of Asian descent. Law enforcement officials said the gunman held neo-Nazi beliefs. view article arw

On Wednesday morning, Katy ISD conducted a mock, full-scale mass shooter response drill, in conjunction with Fort Bend County Homeland Security, local EMS, and local law enforcement. It is the first of several steps the district is taking to increase school safety and security. The exercise began at 9 a.m. at Tompkins High School, where several actors played the roles of students, parents and staff as the sound of fake gunfire filled the halls. Emergency response vehicles and aircraft were dispatched to respond to the scene. Law enforcement and Katy ISD officials are not yet releasing specific information about the findings of the exercise, but they say it was a useful tool they plan to implement more frequently in the district. Henry Gaw is the chief of the Katy ISD police department. He says they plan to have the next exercises at schools located outside of Fort Bend County. view article arw

Neuralink, Elon Musk's brain-implant company, recently received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its first-in-human clinical trials, despite safety concerns and reports about the company's experimentation on animals. The company used Twitter, which also is owned by Musk, to announce it had received the clearance, saying the accomplishment was the result of "close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people."Neuralink, Elon Musk's brain-implant company, recently received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its first-in-human clinical trials, despite safety concerns and reports about the company's experimentation on animals. The company used Twitter, which also is owned by Musk, to announce it had received the clearance, saying the accomplishment was the result of "close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people." view article arw

The Eanes ISD Board of Trustees has approved a policy to form a district police department. The policy authorizes armed peace officers on all campuses, including elementary schools. Eanes ISD said the new police force will work closely with district and school officials, local law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders. "We still rely on the partnership that we have with local agencies and law enforcement, so they will still be a part of the equation, but we'll have our own employed police officers on each of our campuses," said Jeff Arnett, Eanes ISD Superintendent. view article arw

A one-time substitute teacher in Mesquite who allegedly encouraged students to fight in the classroom now faces criminal charges. According to reports, a Dallas County grand jury indicted 24-year-old Natally Garcia on four counts of endangering children. view article arw

Considering tragic events like those of Uvalde and ongoing legislative efforts to improve school safety, educators across the state and nation are actively exploring ways to create a safer learning environment for students while maintaining classroom consistency. Officials at Rotan ISD are taking a proactive approach by considering the establishment of a campus-wide Police Department before the… view article arw

The Eanes ISD board of trustees is slated to discuss and hold the second reading of its updated school resource officer, or SRO, policy at a special meeting June 6. The district has two Travis County police officers serving as SROs at Westlake High School under an agreement with the county, which began in August 2020 and is good through July 31, 2024, according to agenda documents. view article arw

Seven people were shot and two have died – since named as father and son Renzo Smith and Shawn Jackson – in gunfire that rang out on Tuesday at a high school graduation ceremony held on Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)’s Monroe Park campus, causing hundreds of students and guests to flee in panic, a moment caught on a video since uploaded to Facebook by one of the event’s attendees. Police have arrested a 19-year-old suspect who tried to escape. He will be charged with two counts of second-degree murder, Richmond’s interim police chief Rick Edwards said. view article arw

TUESDAY, June 6, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Could breastfeeding lay the groundwork for good grades in high school? That's what the findings of a new British study suggest, although the differences were small between those who were breastfed and those who weren't when it came to standardized test scores and grades. "Breastfeeding promotes the development of the brain, which may account for better school performance," said lead researcher Dr. Renee Pereyra-Elías, from the national perinatal epidemiology unit in the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom. "Although we see that those children breastfed for longer do better than those children who were not breastfed at all, however, and this is something important, the difference between those who were breastfed for long and those who are not is not massive," he said. Pereyra-Elías added that this study can't prove that breastfeeding causes students to do better in school, only that there appears to be an association. view article arw

Katy Independent School District, in conjunction with Fort Bend County Homeland Security and Emergency Management, local EMS, fire and law enforcement agencies, will conduct a full-scale active shooter exercise Wednesday at Tompkins High School. A news conference is scheduled to begin at noon. KPRC 2 will carry a livestream of the event view article arw

Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that bans transition care for transgender minors, making Texas the largest state to do so. The bill, which will take effect Sept. 1, prohibits doctors from prescribing medications — like puberty blockers or hormones — and from performing surgeries on minors diagnosed with gender dysphoria, defined as a person's psychological distress about gender identity. view article arw

After several days of backlash over a Facebook post celebrating heterosexual relationships during the month of June, Lamar CISD board member Jon Welch called the social media response "emotional offense on steroids." The post from June 1, the first day of what is widely recognized as Pride Month, garnered hundreds of angry comments and an official letter from the board of trustees president Mandi Bronsell, distancing the board from Welch’s sentiments. On his Facebook page, Welch wrote, “I celebrate all the boyfriend-girlfriend relationships and male-female marriages throughout the world this month. You're often lost in the noise of our culture. But Natural Law and undiluted Truth still call to us all. And I celebrate it here.” view article arw

Three Texas residents have died this year as a result of a fungal meningitis outbreak linked to elective surgeries in Mexico, prompting a travel advisory warning of the newfound dangers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials said the outbreak of fungal meningitis comes from at least two clinics in Matamoros, Mexico, where elective cosmetic surgeries have been performed, including liposuction. As a result, experts have warned anyone who had surgery in a Matamoros clinic under epidural anesthesia between Jan. 1 and May 13 potentially was exposed and remained at risk for the life-threatening disease. The clinics, which closed May 13, include River Side Surgical Center and Clinica K-3, CDC representatives announced. view article arw

EL PASO — Olga Thomas has a story about every plant in her garden. The creosote bush that her mother would brew into a medicinal tea. The ocotillo planted from seed that now towers over her. The prickly pear cactus that blooms yellow each spring. Thomas, 72, began her garden in the late 1990s when she moved to a “colonia” 30 miles from downtown El Paso called Hueco Tanks. She raised her five children on this patch of land in the Chihuahuan Desert, transforming the rugged 2-acre plot into a home. “It’s my little sanctuary, my oasis out here,” she said. Hueco Tanks is among the dozens of colonias — unincorporated communities mostly in border counties — in Texas where low-income, Latino residents still are not connected to municipal water. But now, Thomas has a source of safe drinking water at home for the first time. view article arw

The Dallas Independent School District made national news recently after it sent some students home with a Winnie the Pooh-themed book on school safety. "Stay Safe: Run, Hide, Fight" teaches elementary students how to respond to a school intruder situation. The move comes as the state of Texas grapples with a response to school safety issues in the wake of last year's deadly shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas would become the largest state to ban gender-affirming care for minors under a bill sent Wednesday night to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has previously ordered child welfare officials to investigate such treatment as abuse. The bill cleared the GOP-controlled Legislature after a final vote in the Senate over the objections of Democrats, who used parliamentary maneuvers in recent weeks to delay passage but could not derail it entirely. Texas is now poised to join at least 17 other states that have enacted similar bans. view article arw

A coach at a San Antonio high school has been arrested and charged with having an improper relationship with a student, according to arresting documents. Authorities said the suspect is Alejandro Pena, who was a coach at West Campus High School in South San Antonio ISD. According to an arrest affidavit, a female student made a report to a South San ISD police officer. view article arw

Parents of two Keller ISD students want answers after they say their children were left behind on a school bus for about seven hours this week before anyone realized. Sanjeeve Neupane of Fort Worth is the father of a 5-year-old who will begin kindergarten this fall at Keller ISD. This week, Neupane’s daughter was set to begin a summer school program at Basswood Elementary. Neupane recalls dropping off his daughter at Sunset Valley Elementary around 7 a.m. on Wednesday, where parents were instructed to meet the school bus. The bus was supposed to take his daughter and other students to Basswood by around 8 a.m., Neupane said. view article arw

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. teachers are divided on whether arming themselves would make schools safer, with one in five saying they would be interested in carrying a gun to school, according to a nationally representative survey conducted by the RAND Corporation. More than half (54%) of the respondents believe the presence of firearms carried by teachers would diminish school safety, while 26% expressed neutrality, indicating that such measures would neither improve nor degrade safety. The survey was conducted in late 2022, targeting the perspectives of K-12 teachers on the issue of safety in their educational establishments. The majority of teachers ranked bullying as their top safety concern. Senior policy researcher at RAND and author of the report, Heather L. Schwartz, remarked, "Bullying, not active shooters, was teachers’ most common top safety concern, followed by fights and drugs. Despite the prevalence of anti-bullying programs, everyday school violence is a concern for teachers." view article arw

After discovering that contracted medical staff ignored the mother’s pleas to take the girl to the hospital as her condition declined, the federal agency said it is taking action to ensure an in-custody death “never happens again.”  An internal investigation conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection found that contracted personnel working at a federal border station in South Texas failed to contact doctors while an 8-year-old was having a medical emergency in May, according to a statement Thursday from the federal agency. The girl later died after medical professionals repeatedly denied the mother’s request that her daughter be taken to a hospital. view article arw

MOUNT PLEASANT, Texas (KLTV) - Faster, more efficient response can save lives, and that’s why law enforcement undergoes training. Mount Pleasant High School offered their campus to local first responders for an active shooter drill, and KLTV was allowed an inside look. Mount Pleasant ISD Director of Safety and Security Hayes Lesher and Mount Pleasant Fire Chief Larry McRae prepare for what’s become a necessity. “This is about the fifth exercise we’ve done in the last probably ten or fifteen years,” McRae said. McRae points out to make it as real as possible, response personnel don’t know exactly when or where in the school it will happen. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO – Lawmakers passed on Sunday, what they are calling one of the biggest school safety packages in the state's history. But experts and local superintendents say the bill is more of a hindrance than a benefit.  The legislature's school safety package, House Bill Three, is on its way to the governor's desk.  “It’s something that is probably not acceptable to many school districts because it cost too much money,” Jon Taylor, the political science chair at the University of Texas–San Antonio, said.  HB 3 is the state's response to the Uvalde massacre. view article arw

The Texas Tribune is collaborating with Frontline and Futuro Investigates on a documentary about last year’s school shooting in Uvalde. “After Uvalde: Guns, Grief & Texas Politics,” premieres May 30 on PBS stations nationally. It will also be available to stream on pbs.org/frontline and texastribune.org. The documentary follows journalist María Hinojosa as she examines the aftermath of the deadliest school shooting in Texas history. It tells the story of how some grieving families have pushed to raise the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic weapons in Texas and pulls from the Tribune’s original reporting on what happened inside the school, the semi-automatic weapon that was used and the aftermath of the tragedy. view article arw

Lawmakers were assured that outsourcing management of foster care services would fix the state’s troubled child welfare agency. But the rollout of the new model, set to be completed by 2029, has been complicated by setbacks. view article arw

The State of Texas filed a public nuisance lawsuit against a strip club in west Tarrant County on Tuesday, as part of a larger effort to permanently shut down the establishment. The move comes after a shootout on Sunday morning in the parking lot of Temptations Cabaret that left one person dead and three others injured. The club has a well-documented history of criminal activity, including multiple murders. view article arw

El Paso's three largest districts are implementing a no-bag policy during the last two weeks of school. Officials with the Ysleta Independent School District said they do this to prevent the end-of-the-year pranks from getting out of hand. KFOX14 asked district officials if they plan to implement a clear-bag policy year-round. view article arw

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Jury selection is scheduled to begin Wednesday in the trial of a former Florida sheriff's deputy charged with failing to confront the shooter who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Parkland high school five years ago. The attorney for former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson, prosecutors and Circuit Judge Martin Fein are expected to spend several days winnowing through hundreds of prospective jurors to find 50 who say they could serve without prejudice and for the two months the trial is expected to take. view article arw

A bus driver for the Garland Independent School District is being hailed a hero for helping one of her students. Reva, who prefers to only share her first name, has worked for the school district’s Transportation Department for 16 years. “It was a normal morning,” Reva said. “I'm usually a couple minutes late getting there because of the traffic, but that morning I was on time.” view article arw

Across Texas, students are learning a lifesaving technique called “Stop the Bleed.” One Northside ISD junior took the training to the next level and made it his focus for a project to help others. “In them, they have a tourniquet, they have some packing gauze, really everything,” Hector Frausto, a junior at O’Connor High School, said. view article arw

After five years, families of those killed and wounded during the Santa Fe mass shooting are one step closer to getting answers. Several family members met with Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady Tuesday to learn what evidence in the case he will allow them to review. These reviews are happening because of a new law the families fought to see passed this legislative session. Senate Bill 435 went into effect on May 24, the day Gov. Greg Abbott signed the measure. The new law allows prosecutors to share evidence in murder cases with family members of victims even if the case has not gone to trial. Typically evidence is kept confidential prior to trial, but SB 435 gives prosecutors the discretion to share this information without opening up the material to inspection by the general public. view article arw

The Texas House gave final approval Monday to a bill restricting children from seeing sexually explicit performances. Senate Bill 12 was originally designed to restrict kids from attending drag shows, but its most recent version seeks to criminalize any live performance that the bill defines as sexual.  The House voted 93-45 to pass its version of the legislation. On Thursday, the Senate decided to send Senate Bill 12 to a conference committee made up of members from both legislative changes rather than accept the House’s changes to the legislation. The lower chamber removed the bill’s original focus on drag shows. The committee must reach an agreement on the bill by the end of Saturday for it to reach Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. view article arw