Gov. Greg Abbott announced last Wednesday that he has ordered 30 law enforcement officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to deploy throughout Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) for the 2022-2023 school year.
The move follows a loss of local support for Uvalde law enforcement in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting at Robb Elementary in May, as reported in The Dallas Express.
An investigative report published by a special state legislative committee concluded that responding law enforcement officers in Uvalde “failed to prioritize saving lives.”
“We know going back to school will be especially challenging for many in Uvalde,” stated Steven McCraw, director of DPS. “The Texas Department of Public Safety is committed to working with the [UCISD] to ensure each child, parent, and teacher feels safe and protected during this difficult time. There is no task more important than this.”
In a statement, Abbott touted his efforts to support Uvalde residents in the aftermath of the deadliest school shooting in the United States in about a decade.
The governor pointed to his allocation of state funds to mental health services, his assignment of agency representatives to help residents identify and collect available federal and state benefits, and his issuance of a disaster declaration to speed up the availability and delivery of state and local taxpayer resources, among other actions.
“Texas will keep working to provide all available support and resources to the Uvalde community as they continue to heal,” Abbott said in his statement.
School districts across the state have begun implementing various security procedures and policies.
Dallas ISD, for instance, now requires all sixth- to 12th-grade students to use clear or mesh backpacks, as reported by The Dallas Express.
The district has experienced numerous security threats over the past few years, including fights, shootings, and cuttings.
Still, not all Dallas residents are convinced that the steps taken by Dallas ISD will substantially increase the security of the students.
For example, school security expert Michael Dorn suggested that clear backpacks “are a well-intended but relatively ineffective measure” because people could still use hollowed-out books or shirts to conceal weapons.
Dallas ISD started operations back up on Monday.
Meanwhile, the UCISD school board voted back in July to delay the start of the 2022-2023 academic year to September 6. Students of Robb Elementary will be transferred to other schools, as the campus is set to be demolished and rebuilt.