Texas governor requests active shooter training in schools


FILE – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas on June 8, 2021. The parents of a transgender teenager in Texas said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, March 1, 2021, that the state is investigating them after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered officials to look into reports of gender-confirming care for kids as abuse. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

(NewsNation) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has asked Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) to provide active shooter training to school districts throughout the state.

Abbott announced the decision Monday, two weeks after the mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers at a Uvalde elementary school.

There’s a chance that you haven’t heard about this story. No left-leaning outlets have reported on it, according to NewsNation’s partner Ground News’ Blindspot report. Forty-four percent of the outlets that reported on the topic were right-leaning. The majority of news coverage, 56%, has been from outlets aligned in the center of the political spectrum.

In a letter Abbott sent Monday, the governor instructed ALERRT Executive Director Pete Blair to provide training to school districts across the state. He also requested an “after-action debrief” of the Uvalde shooting at Robb Elementary School once the investigation is complete.

“We sadly recognize we cannot do anything to bring back the precious lives that were taken; however, we must do everything in our power to prevent the same tragic ending from happening again,” Abbott’s letter read, according to a news release.

Abbott’s announcement came after the discovery that the on-scene commander at the time of the shooting believed the situation had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject.

About 45 minutes passed before officers entered the room using keys from the janitor, police said. Shots during that time were sporadic and it’s unclear how many children died within that window, according to Texas DPS.

ALERRT, like other popular models including ALICE and the FBI’s Run Hide Fight, emphasizes avoiding the shooter, denying them access and acting in self-defense.

“We’re always screening cases, looking for lessons learned, to see if what’s going on makes sense, are there things we need to add, things we need to address, so that system is always evolving,” Blair previously told NewsNation.

Training is currently based on the following principles:

  • Avoid — Pay attention to your surroundings. Have an exit plan. Move away from the source of the threat.
  • Deny — If getting away from the threat isn’t an option, keep a distance between yourself and the source, create barriers, remain quiet and out of sight.
  • Defend — If you can’t avoid the assailant or deny them access, defend yourself. Be aggressive and committed to your actions.

This story is part of NewsNation’s new “Blindspot” initiative in partnership with Ground News to provide readers with contextual, unbiased news they may not find covered by every media outlet.

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