Texas School Safety Center to contribute to Gov. Abbott's action plan

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
May 30, 2018

SAN MARCOS – Texas Governor Greg Abbott unveiled his School and Firearm Safety Action Plan on May 30, placing special emphasis on training for school personnel by the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) at Texas State University.

The TxSSC will work with the state to help fulfill three areas of Gov. Abbott's plan: deliver a workshop-based course that allows for hands-on application of high-quality planning practices; provide training in the Standard Response Protocol and the Standard Reunification Method; and deliver training on Behavioral Threat Assessment to school personnel.

The TxSSC provides training and resources year-round that address prevention of, preparedness for, and response to a host of threats and hazards that schools could potentially face, including school shootings. In an effort to equip school personnel throughout the state with the necessary knowledge and skills to keep their schools safe and secure before the start of the news school year, a variety of additional school safety training opportunities will be provided in July and August. These trainings are intended to address the comprehensive nature of school safety, specifically focusing on the threat assessment process, planning for potential threats in collaboration with local first responders, as well as ensuring effective response protocols during an emergency.

To deliver training on Behavioral Threat Assessment to school personnel, the TxSSC will partner with SIGMA Threat Management. This stems from recommendations originating in the governor’s roundtable discussions, which stressed the importance of prevention by identifying early warning signs of students in crisis and providing them with the appropriate interventions to avert potential acts of violence. Threat assessment is a process designed to identify, investigate, evaluate and manage threats and other troubling behavior. The school threat assessment model developed by the United States Secret Service and U.S. Department of Education provides a how-to guide for school personnel, law enforcement professionals, mental health professional and community members on how to set up and operate school threat assessment teams. The threat assessment process makes it possible to intervene with the person who is planning an act of violence and get them the help they need.

The TxSSC will also partner with the I Love You Guys Foundation to provide training in the Standard Response Protocol and the Standard Renunciation Method for school personnel. This multi-hazard-based response protocol for critical incidents can be incorporated into existing emergency operation plans. The training will be delivered using a train-the-trainer model, which acts as a force multiplier in that trainers are able to offer this material in their regional area.

For more information, contact: Kathy Martinez-Prather, director of the Texas School Safety Center, at km60@txstate.edu or (512) 245-6236.

About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,694 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 184,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world. Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.