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Wed Feb 28, 2018, 06:57 PM

Gov. Greg Abbott orders immediate measures for junior college campus safety after school shooting

AUSTIN — One week after ordering Texas schools to take immediate safety measures in the wake of the mass shooting in Florida, Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday issued a similar mandate for the state's public junior colleges.

"We must act expeditiously and prudently to ensure that college campuses in Texas are safe places to study, work, and live,” Abbott said in a directive to the state's top higher education official. “These are important first steps to ensuring that junior college districts are meeting all requirements and have the best information available to help keep their campuses safe."

The directive to Raymund Paredes, commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, contains five major components:

Colleges must catalog and share all available information from the Texas School Safety Center on college campus safety, and distribute this information to all public junior college districts and universities. They also must distribute this information to private and proprietary institutions of higher education.

They must ensure that all public junior college districts are in compliance with statutorily required school safety audits and "multi-hazard emergency operations plans." Also, they must ensure school safety audits have been submitted to the safety centern and cover all school facilities, both instructional and non-instructional.

Publish on the coordinating board's website a list of any public junior college districts that do not satisfy the requirements of their 2015 audit within 45 days of being notified by the coordinating board.

Ensure that all public junior college districts have made "satisfactory progress" toward completing security audits, which are due Sept. 15, 2018.

Work with the safety center, the Department of Public Safety, and the governor's office make recommendations to the Legislature on policy changes to keep students safe.


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