More armed school staff, counselors discussed at first Texas roundtable

Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros wears a shirt that reads “We Play For Santa Fe.”

Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros wears a shirt that reads “We Play For Santa Fe.”

A girl becomes emotional as she kneels in front of a cross at a makeshift memorial outside Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, on Monday, May 21, 2018.

The first meeting, which focused on school and community safety, included nearly two dozen school administrators, politicians, law enforcement officials and an architect with expertise on school design, among others.

The Texas Democratic Party in a statement called the roundtable meetings "theatrics" and chastised Abbott for holding the discussions behind closed doors. Since 2013, Texas has reduced the cost and hours of training needed to be licensed to carry a handgun, allowed "open carry" for handgun license holders, and allowed concealed handguns in college classrooms and dorms.

Federal law prohibits an individual "adjudicated as a mental defective" or involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility from owning or purchasing a firearm.

A recent CNN story reported that 170 Texas school districts (out of about 1,000) already allow teachers and administrators to carry concealed weapons on school grounds. "I don't know if they know us the way they should".

"He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no", she told the Los Angeles Times.

More than 3,000 members of the Texas Muslim community attended to pay tribute to the 17-year-old, who had described her acceptance on to a USA exchange programme as the best thing that had ever happened to her.

The state's 20-year dominance by the Republican Party all but guarantees the meetings will be dominated by calls to boost school security and "harden" campuses - an idea backed by the NRA - instead of demands for gun restrictions, said Cal Jillson, political science professor at Southern Methodist University.

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Sentiments like those could give Abbott political cover if his roundtable discussions don't lead to major changes.

"We want to come together as a community and support one another", senior pastor Jerl Watkins said, according to Dallas News. "We came up with some very solid solutions", Abbott told reporters.

"I believe Gov. Abbott, he's going to take us forward", Reynolds-Perez said.

"We have families today that are grieving a grief that none of us can comprehend".

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas' re-election campaign scrapped its plan to give away a shotgun in a contest after a high school student used a shotgun and a handgun to kill 10 people in the state on Friday. Authorities said student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, walked into the school with a shotgun and a pistol and killed eight students and two teachers. A 17-year-old student is being held on capital murder charges.

Abbott started the meeting in Austin by discussing the format.

In a nearby church kitchen, parishioners prepared plates of barbecue to be sold after the service, with all proceeds going to victims' families.

Participants will change each day. Two dozen groups were invited to attend the session, which was expected to include conversations on monitoring students' mental health. She noted the church shooter in tiny Sutherland Springs slipped through an existing law. "Even the young people from Santa Fe are not full-throated advocates of gun control to keep the children safe".

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