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Uvalde’s school district is one of several statewide using online monitoring of student writing and messaging. But it’s not a perfect solution.  Last fall, faculty at the Seguin Independent School District received an email no school district wants to read: A student was having suicidal thoughts and the district had to intervene.  The student was approached by the district’s crisis team that is made up of several faculty members. Their parents were notified and given resources to help the student.  It was a crisis averted. view article arw

Makayla Martin and Samantha Brothers are two former City View students who have come forward with allegations of sexual assault and harassment under a former City View teacher Bob Morris. Morris died of a single gunshot wound at his home Monday night; officials have not confirmed if the death was a suicide. “We were best friends and to know that this was going on at the same time and we both could tell. Because we knew that each other were hurting but we never knew why and we were too afraid to tell each other,” Makayla Martin, former City View student said. view article arw

A City View ISD employee has been found dead following public allegations of misconduct. Bobby Morris was found dead on his property with a single gunshot wound at around 7 p.m. Monday, according to law enforcement. Officials would not confirm if it was suicide, citing the ongoing investigation. The death comes after allegations were made on social media over the weekend accusing Morris of misconduct. News Channel 6 spoke with three former students on Monday, all of whom alleged inappropriate behavior. The story is being withheld for the time being in light of this incident. view article arw

AUSTIN — Police chiefs representing various communities across Texas urged state lawmakers to enact legislation that they hope will reduce crime and gun violence and improve school safety. In response to the Uvalde massacre, the chiefs from rural, urban and suburban communities appeared before a joint hearing of the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee and the Youth Health and Safety Select Committee on Thursday. The law enforcement officials followed testimony from the families of Uvalde victims and gun rights advocates. The officers, all members of the Texas Police Chief Association, offered a list of recommendations nearly identical to what the organization presented to lawmakers in 2020. “I am extremely sorrowful and remiss to say that the legislature did address some - certainly not a significant portion - of the concerns that this association has brought before us again two years later,” said state Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo. “That's embarrassing.” view article arw

Members of the Safe and Secure Schools Committee said they have increased focus on implementing changes based on recommendations made in 2018. Assistant Superintendent of Support Services Paul Miller and Director of Safe Schools Brian Palazzi presented an update to the board of trustees June 28 from the committee on what changes have been made to Clear Creek ISD schools since 2018. The Safe and Secure Schools Committee conducts and reviews school safety and security audit reports and is guided by the recommendations from the School Safety Committee. view article arw

A local alliance of clergy and police officers has pledged their support to Kilgore ISD to help make students, teachers, school staff and campuses safer in the event of an emergency. Kilgore’s Clergy And Police Alliance (CAPA) was represented at Monday’s school board meeting by Robert Smith, a longtime police officer, local pastor and CAPA member. Smith addressed board members during the public comments section of the meeting. “The voters have elected you to create a safe learning environment for our students. We recently held a meeting with CAPA and law enforcement about school safety following the Uvalde shooting. We had a very meaningful discussion,” Smith said. As a result of the meeting, local police and CAPA developed a four-point plan to focus on improving safety and security at local school campuses, including at Kilgore ISD. view article arw

TYLER, Texas (KETK) — “We are constantly trying to think and do new things for him so that he is just able to enjoy each day to the fullest,” said Donna Granberry, Jordan’s mother. Jordan Granberry, a recent graduate from Tyler ISD’s Boshears program, has been facing challenges since birth. Four months ago, his mother Donna met someone who would make a difference in her family’s life. view article arw

The Canutillo Independent School District Board of Trustees during their regular June meeting will consider granting all eligible employees additional leave for mental health and wellness coping.  The Canutillo Independent School District Board of Trustees during their regular June meeting will consider granting all eligible employees additional leave for mental health and wellness coping.  view article arw

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX) — Texas leaders on Tuesday announced additional financial support for safety and mental health initiatives in the state. Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Speaker Dade Phelan, Senate Finance Committee Chair Joan Huffman and House Appropriations Chair Dr. Greg Bonnen unveiled the transfer of $105.5 million to support the initiatives through August 31, 2023. The lawmakers said the additional funding will boost actions the state has already taken to make schools safer and support the mental health of children, teachers and families following the tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. $100.5 million will be transferred to state agencies and programs to enhance school safety and mental health services in Uvalde and throughout Texas. The funding will provide: view article arw

New Caney ISD Superintendent Matt Calvert reviewed several existing and proposed initiatives aimed at increasing school safety for students and staff members at the district’s June 20 board of trustees meeting. Calvert said he was outlining the measures to assure parents the district is remaining vigilant in its effort to bolster safety on campuses. “Safety is one of the priority goals of the district,” Calvert said. “We know [parents] are trusting us for eight hours a day, sometimes more, with your most prized possession—your babies. We want to get them back to you just like you dropped them off.” Calvert noted three areas the district is focusing on to improve safety in schools, including ensuring all campus doors and entryways remain secured, checking ID badges and visitor stickers to make sure everyone in the facility is supposed to be on campus, and requiring teachers to actively monitor students in the hallways. view article arw

Locks on exterior doors at all Texas schools will be checked to ensure they work properly following the Robb Elementary School shooting. Before the start of the next school year, Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath said the agency will review the external entry points of every K-12 school, which is estimated to be 340,000 doors, reports The Texas Tribune. The state consists of more than 1,200 school districts and over 3,000 campuses. view article arw

In the month following the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, only a single officer from the Uvalde Police Department has departed the agency, city officials confirmed to the KSAT 12 Defenders. The officer, who was just shy of reaching four years of service with Uvalde PD, recently resigned to take a position with the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office, where he previously worked. Uvalde PD, which Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records show has more than 50 officers, currently has two officer job openings, according to the city’s website. view article arw

In the weeks leading up to last month's elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the 18-year-old gunman made a number of disturbing comments to users on various social media platforms, leading the head of Texas' top law enforcement agency to say last week that those comments "should have been reported." But at least some of the online users who communicated with the gunman previously told ABC News they did try to report him -- yet their efforts largely went nowhere. view article arw

Milam County law enforcement will begin active shooter drills at local schools next week beginning with Rockdale ISD. According to a press release from Milam County Sheriff Mike Clore, there will be an increased law enforcement presence around Rockdale High School on June 28 and 30. Clore said his department and partner agencies are taking the initiative over the next three months to facilitate training opportunities for first responders responders to critical incidents at local schools. The operation will focus on scenario-based situations involving critical incidents in a safe and controlled environment. This training will support school safety Initiative goals to enhance response capabilities, enhance safety procedures for staff and participants, and enhance collaboration and safety operations in schools. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO — Southside ISD will be providing free backpacks to all students for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. The district says due to safety precautions, only clear or mesh backpacks will be allowed in the district. Students can get their backpacks during Meet the Teacher Night and the first week of school. The districts urges anyone with questions to contact them at (210) 882-1600. view article arw

Good Read- js - UTOPIA, Tex. — Three months before a teenager opened fire on fourth-graders in Uvalde, school administrators in Utopia, about 45 minutes north, called a lockdown. A man who had been pulled over and arrested suddenly escaped police custody and tore through campus. In the dark, quiet classrooms, one teacher handed out lollipops to keep students quiet. Older students piled desks in front of a classroom door. Another teacher told the children not to flush the toilet, fearing it would make too much noise. And, unbeknown to their colleagues, a cadre of armed school staffers readied themselves to act. view article arw

Updates on the new buildings for Plainview ISD were a major focus of Thursday’s regular board meetings-specifically, the safety features. Parkhill’s Director of K-12 design Mike Baker and President of Lee Lewis Construction Jason Smith outlined the progress made so far on each of the buildings. The priorities for them have been the security system features like fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, ballistic windows and more. Board member Daniel “Danny” Salazar questioned if the school buildings would be ready for the upcoming school year and Smith responded with an affirmative yes.    (27) view article arw

Every morning during the school year, Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen is unloading a couple of students at their schools in Humble ISD. They’re her own kids and that gives her a unique perspective and an additional responsibility to school security. She has no qualms when it comes to the district’s response to a potential security risk. “What I can tell the families of Humble ISD is that we are constant students of the very best practices in school safety. We review every single tragic event and see what we can learn from it,” she said in an interview last week. view article arw

UVALDE, TEXAS — One Uvalde mother who works for a book publisher has a simple idea that's taken off in ways she never imagined. Something special is happening at St. Philips Episcopal Church. “Every time there's something I try to bring them and see what they're doing,” Uvalde resident Beatrice Uriegas said. This time Uriegas and her grandchildren are leaving with books. Lots and lots of books. “In a small town, there's not a lot of things to do. So, all this activity is going on, on a daily basis, mostly, you know, it's things that we can do. Keep our minds off things that happened,” Uriegas said. view article arw

The Royse City Independent School District Board of Trustees has agreed to expand security procedures at district campuses during the upcoming school year. The trustees voted unanimously at Monday’s night’s meeting to support the administration's recommendation to expand the School Resource Officer (SRO) and School Marshal programs to allow coverage at every campus in the district. “As we plan and look forward to the 2022-2023 school year, safety within our campuses and buildings is paramount,” the district said in a statement issued Tuesday. “Many safety plans and procedures will continue to be reinforced. In addition, we are adding personnel and security features to enhance overall safety.” Among the procedures being implemented: view article arw

The Tomball ISD board of trustees voted 5-1 against adopting a new health education textbook for eighth grade students June 14, which was recommended by the School Health Advisory Council. Trustee Justin Unser abstained from the vote, and board President Kathy Handler was the sole vote to adopt the new textbook. Director of Administrative Services Karen Graves presented the new health textbook, "Texas Health Skills for High Schools," and a companion text along with the advisory council’s concerns at the June 13 workshop meeting. The School Health Advisory Council voted to recommend the textbook and companion guide to the board of trustees with a vote of 10-3, according to Graves.    (24) view article arw

In the wake of the deadliest school shooting in state history, the Texas Education Agency plans to check whether hundreds of thousands of external school building doors lock properly before the next school year begins. TEA Commissioner Mike Morath told Texas senators Tuesday that the agency will review external entry points of every school in Texas, which is about 340,000 doors. It will evaluate school facilities to determine what repairs may be needed to secure campuses. There will also be a review of each district’s safety protocols and meetings held between state officials and each district’s school safety committee. Morath’s comments came during a Texas Senate committee hearing about the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, during which a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers. At the same hearing, Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said the law enforcement response to the shooting was an “abject failure” and police could have stopped the shooter three minutes after arriving. McCraw also told lawmakers the teacher who taught in the conjoined classrooms where the shooting occurred had flagged to the school administration that the door would not lock.    (22) view article arw

The Texas Senate committee held numerous hearings this week on school security and gun safety following the tragedy in Uvalde. During the session a Jacksonville native testified for the Texas School District Police Chief Association. “In my 40 plus years in law enforcement I’d have to say it’s the most disappointing response I’ve ever seen,” said Bill Avera, the Jacksonville ISD Police Chief. He is also the 1st Vice President for the Texas School District Police Chief Association. view article arw

City View ISD has released a statement in regards to a social media post accusing an employee of misconduct. City View ISD Superintendent Tony Bushong released the following statement regarding the allegations: “It is always the goal and intent of our administration to protect our students, staff, and community. City View ISD will not tolerate any acts of misconduct. However, we will not address such serious allegations over social media. Anyone who would like to file a formal complaint should do so with the Superintendent and/or Chief of Police. The administration building is open from 9:00-4:00 Monday-Thursday throughout the summer months.” view article arw

“Today’s world is ahead of academics.” Those are the words used by Seguin ISD Superintendent Dr. Matthew Gutierrez to address one of the two groups of community members who gathered Thursday as part of the process to create the new Seguin ISD Safety Task Force. The task force is what Dr. Gutierrez says is needed to help “keep safety and security” at the forefront all year long. He says although the district has remained vigilant in securing their schools, much of the public focus these last couple of years has been on COVID and the protocols required to protect a person’s health. view article arw

The policy will apply to campus buildings to strengthen and improve school safety and security practices. In an effort to keep school grounds safe for students and faculty, George West and Beeville Independent School District will be implementing a clear bag policy for their students. The policy will begin with the 2022-2023 school year. view article arw

Officials at McLennan County school districts large and small are watching the work of state legislative committees, hoping debates among lawmakers in the wake of the Robb Elementary School shooting last month in Uvalde yield more funding for the range of school safety initiatives districts have been developing for years. The range of initiatives in local school districts includes engaging one-on-one with students to help them feel like part of a community, investing in physical security at school buildings, and training students and employees in basic emergency medical techniques. Superintendents and security experts say there is plenty of room to expand ongoing efforts and add new approaches to keep students safe. view article arw

Four teens implicated themselves in the planned execution of a shooting at Donna High School, according to the criminal complaints against two of the suspects. Nathaniel Montelongo and Barbarito Pantoja were arrested last month in connection to what the Donna ISD police chief described as “an attempt of physical violence at the district. Two other unidentified juveniles were also arrested. The criminal complaints against Montelongo and Pantoja state both teens were interviewed after police received an anonymous tip that stated the pair were planning a school shooting. view article arw

Committee members will eventually make recommendations that can be considered in the upcoming January 2023 legislative session  Fighting back tears Thursday, Jazmin Cazares remembered her sister Jackie who was murdered at Robb Elementary School last month along with 18 classmates and two teachers.   Cazares came to Austin to testify before a joint hearing committee at the state capitol.  "I shouldn’t have to be here right now. I should be home watching a movie with my sister. I am here begging for you guys to do something, or to change something because the people that were supposed to keep her safe at school didn't. They failed,” said Cazares. view article arw

The first public hearings in Texas looking into the Uvalde school massacre have centered on law enforcement blunders, school building safety and mental health. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Senate held a second public meeting Wednesday to investigate the mass shooting in Uvalde. It focused on mental health. It was revealed that Uvalde was receiving less state-funded mental health services in their school district than other cities in the state. The Texas Child Health Access through Telemedicine program, also called TCHATT, is a free service for kids experiencing mental health concerns. At the time of the shooting, UVALDE CISD did not have this service. “The local mental health authority had some support, but the school district had not been part,” said Dr. David Lakey, chief medical officer at the University of Texas System. He said there are now conversations taking place among City of Uvalde leaders to get TCHATT in schools. He suggested that mental health services could be part of the solution to make sure tragedies like the one in Uvalde don’t happen again. “I think of the time that he’s truant and no longer in school, and there’s no access from the school. That’d be hard for us to reach. But it is possible for us to reach the next person earlier before they progress to that state,” Dr. Lakey said. view article arw

ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- In the aftermath of a deadly school shooting in Uvalde, communities across the country are asking questions about preparedness in local schools. Today, Ector County ISD, in partnership with law enforcement agencies from across Odessa and Ector County, held an active shooter drill at Odessa High School to practice for the worst-case scenario. Today’s exercises focused on solo officer response to make sure officers know how to handle situations on their own. Officers also practiced communicating with others and learned how to best work as a team. ECISD Assistant Police Chief Jeff Daniels said this type of training will help ensure local agencies know how to respond so that no one is caught off guard if tragedy strikes, especially after agencies in Uvalde have been questioned about the events during the shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead. view article arw

The bipartisan gun bill that is on a fast track through Congress and backed by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn includes new state grants to incentivize red flag laws, which allow judges to temporarily seize firearms from people who are deemed dangerous. That means it’ll be up to states as to whether they want to take advantage of one of the key provisions of the landmark gun legislation. But despite last month’s Uvalde school shooting being the inspiration for the bill, Texas is unlikely to get on board. Red flag laws likely remain a nonstarter among Republican leaders in Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott already faced a conservative backlash after he asked the Legislature to consider them four years ago. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who oversees the Senate and wields tremendous sway over what legislation is considered, indicated Wednesday he still opposes such an effort. view article arw

The Goodheart-WIllcox Health Skills for Middle School Companion Text Curriculum has been under consideration since October of last year by S.H.A.C. According to HISD’s Assistant Superintendent of Student Services & Operations Bill Roberts, Its program fulfills all TEKS requirements, prioritizes abstinence in accordance with state law and is the only program approved by the Texas Board of Education. Its curriculum will be taught during seventh grade science and families will have the opportunity to completely opt-out and receive an alternative assignment related to the program depending on parental choice. The opt-out option faced criticism from board members due to logistics concerns. view article arw

The Brownsville Independent School District began administering the newly approved COVID-19 vaccine shots for kids. The district has been waiting to vaccinate this age group since they have pre-kindergarten and kindergarteners who are part of their district. For now the demand is not high, but that is expected to change. "This added protection is going to help the teacher feel more comfortable, more at ease,” said Alonso Guerrero, Brownsville ISD director of health services. “[They won’t] have to worry about Covid and just teach the children." If parents choose the Moderna for their child, it’ll be a two-dose series and will wait four weeks before bringing their kids back for a second dose. Children will get three doses with the Pfizer vaccine. The district is vaccinating at the central administration building Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. by appointment only. To sign up, call 956-548-8191. view article arw