Copperas Cove Independent School District Superintendent Joe Burns expressed appreciation toward Gov. Greg Abbott’s 40-recommendation plan announced May 30 to prevent more school shootings and violence.

Abbott’s plan was announced at the Dallas Independent School District headquarters and less than two weeks after 10 were killed and 13 were injured at Santa Fe High School.

“CCISD certainly appreciates Gov. Abbott’s focus on school safety and security,” Burns said. “The emphasis on an increased presence of law enforcement, staff training and facility improvements to mitigate security threats are all things CCISD embraces and they are embedded in the district’s Emergency Operations Plans.”

A core piece to the governor’s plan would be expanding the School Marshal Program, one of two existing systems for arming school personnel.

The expansion would increase the number of school marshals by funding training this summer. It would also remove the firearm storage requirement for school marshals who are in direct contact with students, according to Abbott’s plan.

Marshal training requirements would be revamped to focus more time on firearms training.

“The district is gratified to see a focus being placed on the socio-emotional health of students,” Burns said. “CCISD fully supports Gov. Abbott’s plan and looks forward to working with local, regional and state leaders to create the safest and most supportive educational environment possible for both students and staff.”

More than 170 school districts of the 1,000-plus in Texas already have some type of system for arming educators and other staff, according to the Texas Tribune. Santa Fe ISD had already approved the plan, but had not yet implemented it.

The governor also suggested calling lawmakers to a special session if there is a strong enough consensus on potentially passing new laws.

The majority of Abbott’s plan would require approval from the Texas Legislature, not set to reconvene until January 2019 unless a special session is called by the governor.

mpayne@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553

Herald staff writer

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