Gov. Greg Abbott signs new law mandating armed security at all Texas schools

Abbott signed school safety House Bill 3 into law Tuesday in Austin

SAN ANTONIO – Security at your child’s school will look different this upcoming school year.

During a meeting at the capital, Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB 3 into law mandating all public schools to have at least one armed security officer or armed school personnel at each public school campus statewide.

According to the Intercultural Development Research Center, the price tag to pay an armed security guard for an entire school year could cost up to $100,000.

“I’m glad my tax money is going towards that. I support it,” San Antonio resident April Reyna said.

This new law would allot $330 million to build security centers on campuses. Legislators in Austin claim this new law will strengthen the state’s School Safety Center, responsible for disseminating safety information to all schools. The law will also mandate annual audits of school protocol and require staff members to get mental health training.

“We have to provide the support systems to our personnel working in our communities,” San Antonio resident Jenny Kazmierczak said.

Some people believe adding armed personnel to campuses would increase protection.

“I think if we have the good guys armed, I think it would minimize deaths,” Reyna said.

However, others disagree.

“I hope that there are other measures to address this problem. This is not the isolated solution,” Kazmierczak said.

As concerns grow, some people are wondering whether some schools will have to dip into their own locally generated revenue to keep the burden of funding an additional salary from falling on schools and local taxpayers.

About the Authors

Santiago Esparza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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