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New school safety laws seek armed guards, chaplains, mental health aid | #schoolsaftey

Almost a year after Texas’ deadliest school shooting, state lawmakers ordered school districts to secure schools with armed officers and to train more staff to identify students who might need mental health support under legislation set to become law in September.

The new school safety law will grant the Texas Education Agency more authority to make sure schools have robust safety plans to respond to an active shooter – something about half of all Texas school districts lacked, according to a 2020 assessment report. Meanwhile, another law will allow schools to use school safety funds to employ unlicensed chaplains for mental health roles, a move some critics have said could allow religious activists to recruit in schools and further polarize school communities.

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