Gov. Abbott host first round table discussion on school shootings

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- The first of three roundtable discussions about school security is happening today in Austin, Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott convened the session to open discussions on how to end gun violence on school campuses.

The roundtable discussion comes days after the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School, which killed 10 people and injured 13 more.

The suspect, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, is a 17-year-old Santa Fe student. Pagourtzis is currently in the Galveston County jail facing capital murder charges.

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Gov. Abbott round table discussion

Among the many attendees in today's session was State Senator John Whitmire, who says he wants to hear from experts first.

"I'm really going to emphasize being proactive," Whitmire said. "We will hear about how to deal with an active shooter. But I would sure like to hear the mental health component. You've got to do a better job of identifying an emotionally disturbed student, and try to get that student help way, way before a tragedy."

Also invited to attend the closed-door, 90-minute session was Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus, State Senator Joan Huffman and many other politicians and lawmakers.

"We all share a common goal, and that is that we protect innocent lives in the state of Texas," said Governor Abbott. "Everyone wants to talk about what the problem is. By now, we know what the problem is. The problem is that innocent people are being shot and that must be stopped."

Among to action items discussed, were the developments of a school threat assessment system, and a program based on efforts at Texas Tech University that would allow for mental health evaluations and interventions on students.

There were also proposals to actively monitor social media accounts of students. Officials will create an app that allows parents to view live cameras inside their children's schools, and work on placing more police officers around campuses.

Additionally, there was a brief discussion about holding parents responsible for their children's actions.
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