HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Mayor Sylvester Turner led the first meeting of the Mayor's Commission Against Gun Violence at Houston City Hall on Friday. The mayor announced his plan to form the commission shortly after the March For Our Lives in March.
Before the meeting began, the members were reminded what was at stake while signing a banner to show support for Santa Fe.
The focus of the rest of the meeting was a presentation on gun violence statistics by the Houston Police Department.
"We’re not just fighting for school safety but also saving the communities, churches and everywhere," said Marcel McClinton, a junior at Stratford High School.
The group is tasked with making two set of recommendations -- one before the next school year and the other before the next state legislative session.
Wasiq Javed, a senior at Cypress Lakes High School, has already thought of some ideas.
"Definitely mental health screenings," said Javed to FOX 26 News. "I think that’s the big one."
"More school resource officers who are trained better in [those] situations and looking into mass evacuations that are safer," said McClinton, referring an active shooter scenario at a school.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that he believes there are solutions that are "low-hanging fruit," such as increasing access to mental health services, tracking threats on social media and working more closely with school security officers. He said he also hopes the group will have discussions on gun violence as a public health issue.
"I think we could all do something to make it better because at the end of the day, the status quo is unacceptable," concluded Sheriff Gonzalez.
The commission is expected to meet monthly and also form subcommittees.