Increasing law enforcement personnel is not the only proposal from governor Greg Abbott on improving school safety. Abbott wants schools to focus more on mental health, and while some officials agree, they say there’s just several problems.
“The problem with counselors at the schools is that they don’t really counsel the students as far as mental health issues, problems, stuff like that, they are more like guidance counselors.”
Abbott wants school districts to add more counselors. In his plan, Abbott says schools should free up these professionals to focus on behavioral needs. All part of providing schools with behavioral threat assessment programs.
Although the Texas State Teacher’s Association in Laredo agrees that mental health is one of the problems. Rene De La Vina says there is another problem.
“We have a funding issue. Unfortunately, our state politicians like they do all the time they never give enough funds to the school districts they don’t have enough funds and that is why we have a shortage of school counselors.”
Myrthala Alejo, a counselor, says there are many children in schools and at times, school counselors have to refer them to seek a professional.
“School districts have been wonderful. I mean they really do provide guidance for our children the truth is that they have so many administrative tasks to take care of so I guess they have to manage their time between doing their administrative duties and offering counsel.”
Abbott’s plan also includes expanding the campus crime stoppers program and implementing a zero-tolerance policy for students who commit assault.