San Antonio

Bexar County approves funding for school mental well being, gun safety programs after Robb Elementary shooting

Bexar County will launch a program addressing gun safety and broaden mental well being resources in faculties following the shooting in Uvalde.

SAN ANTONIO — Bexar County says it needs to behave on the native stage following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary that left 19 college students and a pair of academics useless.

On Tuesday, the county permitted a number of totally different initiatives totaling $37 million, together with $100,000 for offering gun locks and safety units, $1 million in county training on protected gun possession, $14.8 million on funding for mental well being and violence prevention programs, and $21 million in funding for school-based mental well being providers.

The gun safety and training programs can be absolutely voluntary in response to county commissioners.

“This was our attempt to do something now. The wait and see approach is unacceptable,” County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez stated after the meeting.

According to background paperwork, county leaders acknowledged the “frustration and helplessness” dad and mom may have sending their youngsters again to school following the shooting.

Millions can be supplied to the Department of Preventive Health and Environmental Services. 

According to a presentation from the county, its process power on prison justice and behavioral well being, the $14 million would go in direction of offering 16 inpatient beds for juveniles, increasing the grownup disaster inpatient mattress capability to supply longer stays, making a system to supply useful resource navigation and cut back the reliance on 911 operators.

Another merchandise would come with entry to pre-crisis mental well being providers within the south, east and west sides of Bexar County.

The programs can be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, which is suitable after the US Department of Treasury stated violent crime and gun violence—which they are saying has elevated throughout the pandemic—has posed a “significant public health challenge.”

The ARPA {dollars} may also fund the enlargement of mental well being providers in native school districts together with the enlargement of pupil behavioral well being in faculties, to coach counselors, and work with these counselors to establish extra wants.

County Commissioners together with Rebeca Clay-Flores say the funding is a step in the appropriate route, however extra resources are wanted.

She needs to work with the Southwest Texas Crisis Collaborative to establish non-profits to collaborate with school districts.

“We want to make sure our schools, we’ve got 17 different ISD’s in Bexar County, that kids have access to some kind of counseling services…The traditional counselor at the campus level is so overworked with proctoring exams and college selections that, often times kids need someone to talk to,” Commissioner Rodriguez advised KENS 5.

According to Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, all county deputies often have two or three gun locks with them that any citizen can ask for. The county’s public data office can be engaged on the training program for protected gun possession, however the court docket has extra priorities.

Last week, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff despatched a letter to Governor Greg Abbott calling for a particular legislative session to deal with gun violence following the mass shooting.

Some of Judge Wolff’s priorities included elevating the age from 18 to 21 to purchase semi-automatic weapons, purple flag legal guidelines, background checks and allocating state funding for school safety upgrades.

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