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TEXAS: Bill would require schools to teach "mental health...coping mechanisms..."

May 28, 2019, NPR, Austin, TX: School Safety Bill Addressing Texas Students' Mental Health Awaits Governor's Approval A bill that aims to prevent violence in Texas schools – one of Greg Abbott's legislative priorities – is on the governor's desk. Senate Bill 11 would require schools to teach lessons on mental health, substance abuse, coping mechanisms and suicide prevention. The bill is a compromise of House and Senate efforts to keep schools safe after 10 people were killed in a shooting last year at Santa Fe High School. SB 11 requires school districts and charter schools to develop an emergency operations plan to prevent a violent incident, as well as a plan for response if an incident occurs. The bill mandates districts train all employees, including substitute teachers, on what to do if there is a violent incident at a school. It also says each classroom should have access to a phone to call for help. … "SB 11 requires each district to form a school safety and security team with representation from local law enforcement, the office of emergency management, parents, school police, the school board, superintendent and classroom teachers," state Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, the House bill’s author, said at the Capitol last week. These "threat-assessment teams" will monitor student behavior. When a student is accused of being violent, threatening someone (or themselves), hurting someone or bullying, the team will evaluate the student's motivation and try to address it through social-emotional interventions. … The hope is to intervene before a student hurt others or themselves. These teams of educators would be trained by the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State or other organizations that offer similar training….

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