HOUSTON (KIAH) For State Representative Shawn Thierry, it’s personal.
The Democrat from District 146, which covers a portion of Harris County, has a ten year old daughter in a public school, and she wants to make sure she’s safe from threats like school shootings.
“I worry every day,” Thierry said. “And I just want every parent to feel some peace of mind when we bring our children to school that they’re going to come home to us.”
Her bill before the Texas Legislature would require all schools to have silent panic alarm systems that instantly and reliably connect teachers and administrators with police. The state house of representatives gave it final approval Tuesday, and the state senate had also previously done so.
That means it becomes law with the stroke of Governor Greg Abbott’s pen. “We’ve been reaching out to his office, and as I said, I’ve been working on this for almost a year — and really longer than that — from last session as well,” Thierry said. “And so I’m looking forward to getting this on the governor’s desk, and in fact, I believe that it will be implemented by the next school year in time for September.”
For school districts with as many campuses as Houston ISD, it’s a lot of alarm systems that they’ll have to buy.
But Thierry says the money is there from the state budget. “Our school safety allotment exists every year, and so we’ve made sure that the silent alert technology fits within the specifications of the school safety allotment,” she said.