New legislative committee to review school safety after mass shooting in Uvalde

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) — State lawmakers are meeting later this summer to address school safety after the mass shooting in Uvalde. On Wednesday night, Gov. Greg Abbott convened a Senate committee to review school safety standards across Texas and make recommendations to help reduce gun violence in schools.

Educators, lawmakers and parents all want answers about what happened in Uvalde after 19 students and two teachers were gunned down at Robb Elementary School.

The new committee of eight Republican senators and three Democratic senators will meet this summer, but for many educators, it’s too little, too late.

“I think we could have done more after Santa Fe. We could have done more after El Paso. We could have done more instead of relaxing gun laws. We need to look at what we can do to keep these weapons out of the hands of people who are going to create more tragedies,” said Ovidia Molina, president of the Texas State Teachers Association.

Going back to the same drawing board after every tragedy doesn’t seem to work, Molina says.

“[Abbott] had round tables. He had discussions after previous tragedies. It’s time to bring all this talk together and take action,” she said. “We need our schools to be safe. We need our students to enjoy coming to school, not being afraid to come to school and feeling like a prison, like a punishment. We don’t need scare tactics that will put everyone on high alert.

State Senator Louis Kolkhorst of Brenham was chosen to serve as vice-chairman of the committee. She couldn’t speak to KBTX for a TV interview on Thursday, but did share a statement.

“The Uvalde tragedy broke our hearts and I am honored to serve on this important committee,” said Sen. Kolkhorst, (R) – District 18.

Another member of the committee, Republican Senator Charles Perry of Lubbock, declined to make official statements until the committee had done its job.

Molina wants action before another mass shooting happens.

“I wish they would really look and see that you are talking to educators? Do you listen to any department, every department of our schools? “said Molina. “We don’t have time to work on it.

State officials say the safety committee could begin meeting as early as June 23, but the schedule is still being worked out.

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