Texas Orders Districts To Audit, Fix School Security Issues

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- State officials on Thursday ordered local school districts across Texas to audit and correct security deficiencies at their schools before the start of the next school year.

The Texas Education Agency issued directives requiring the districts "to support the safety and security of public schools." State lawmakers have targeted school security and mental health issues without further regulating firearms access.

The TEA order especially targets how secure each school's exterior doors are with weekly exterior door sweeps to ensure they are closed and locked. The directives come more than a month after an 18-year-old gunman entered a Uvalde elementary school's unlocked door and shot and killed 19 children and two teachers.

Districts also must review their multi-hazard emergency operations and active threat plans. All campus staff, substitutes, and district threat assessment teams must be trained in emergency procedures. All mandatory drills for the school year must be scheduled before the school year.

District officials must then complete and submit a survey to the Texas School Safety Center by Sept. 9 to certify that the directives' measures have been completed.