The Rhode Island Senate has passed a bill requiring monthly safety drills at all public elementary and secondary schools. The bill also calls for two lockdown drills every year. Supporters say the requirement will make students and staff more familiar with school safety procedures.
The bill is part of a series of measures aimed at increasing school safety in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown Connecticut. The incident killed 20 students and 6 staff members, and it has sparked a national debate about gun control.
A vote scheduled today in the Rhode Island Senate could change the way public schools conduct emergency drills. The measure is a response to the mass shooting in Newtown Connecticut, where 26 elementary school students and teachers were gunned down during the school day.
The bill calls for monthly emergency drills including lockdowns and emergency evacuations. The idea is to better prepare school staff to handle a situation like the one in Newtown.
Governor Lincoln Chafee says he’s relieved and grateful that no one was seriously injured yesterday at the University, where a report of an active shooter on campus proved to be unfounded. The campus was on lockdown for about two-and-a-half hours.
The governor said in a statement the state will review what happened. He said the incident provides a unique opportunity to review emergency operations and how the situation was handled.
Rhode Island lawmakers will consider legislation Wednesday aimed at increasing safety measures in public schools. The bills, now in the House and Senate Education Committees, would require school and law enforcement officials to work together to look for weaknesses in building security and craft new school safety plans.
School safety procedures dominate the agenda today at the State Senate Education Committee. Lawmakers say the discussion will feature State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, State Police Superintendent Col. Steven O'Donnell and officials from the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.
The oversight hearing follows the shooting last month at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school that left 26 students and teachers dead.
Connecticut’s legislature is also slated to review school safety standards in the wake of the tragedy.