Updating School Security

Dec 23, 2013

Rhode Island's Department of Education says it has reviewed school safety plans from every district in the state, after legislation passed in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings.

RIDE Spokesman Elliot Krieger says there was a fairly wide range of quality among the plans.

In the year since the Newtown tragedy, RIDE has worked with the State Department of Emergency Management on recommendations for school districts to beef up their security procedures. The Rhode Island Association of School Committees says they are reviewing the report.  

Some possible changes based on the recommendations include using technology to give local police better access to school maps and other information that might be useful in an emergency, according to Tim Duffy from RIASC. Duffy says most school security plans in Rhode Island were created after the shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. Since that time, there have been considerable advances in technology.

In 2012, Rhode Island lawmakers passed legislation following the massacre at Sandyhook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, as they looked for ways to avoid a similar tragedy. The law calls for annual reviews of school safety plans and allows most details of the individual plans to remain private for security reasons.