The Honorable Greg Abbott
Governor of Texas
State of Capitol
Austin, Texas 78701
Dear Governor Abbott,
As you are keenly aware, the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School on Friday, May 18th, left many of us heartbroken and horrified. Your recent decision to immediately convene roundtable discussions with diverse stakeholders to discuss more effective ways to protect our students is commendable. It is my understanding that the goal of the dialogue is to bring differing perspectives together in order to come up with solutions. In addition, I respectfully urge you to utilize your authority and power to go one step further, and call a special session so that the legislature can comprehensively tackle this issue.
As a member of the Texas legislature and a mother of a rising first grader, I have a unique standing and passion to work on this issue. My constituents are fearful about the safety of their children, and I must take action to address their concerns. In my role as a mom, when taking my daughter to school, I too, now live under the fear of whether my child is going to make it back home to me alive. With 22 national school shootings in 2018 alone, and the Santa Fe shooting being the deadliest in Texas since the 1966 UT Tower Shooting, our fears and outcries are legitimate. I welcome the opportunity to have a seat at the roundtable and lend my voice in support of the efforts. This is an opportunity to put politics aside, in order to push past these trying times.
This is a pivotal moment in time for the leadership in Texas to set an example for the nation. We must demonstrate that our great state of Texas has the resolve and the will to provide the necessary resources to better ensure the safety of our children. Understandably, there is no “one-stop-shop” solution to effectively address mass school shootings. Notwithstanding, I am confident that under the auspices of a special session, our state legislators will work diligently to pass smart, sensible, regional solutions to respond to the recent tragedy at Santa Fe High School with a common goal of preventing others in the future. We also need action from our federal government, but in the meantime, we must show that Texas will lead the way.
We cannot successfully protect our children, teachers, and families if we continue to operate in a "business as usual" or "thoughts and prayers" mentality. As a woman of faith, I fervently pray against evil, however, am also reminded that scripture teaches “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." (James 2:17).
In this time of sorrow, our fellow Texans are pleading with us to create policy changes. I am confident that if a special session is called, my colleagues and I will work diligently to implement legislation that will prevent mass murders in schools from happening under our watch. We are called to action by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,“...the time is always ripe to do what is right.”
State Representative Shawn Thierry
2616 South Loop West, Suite 635