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State Lawmakers Unveil New School Safety Bill

11:39 PM, Mar 28, 2013   |    comments
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Raleigh, NC -- More than 100 days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, our state lawmakers have introduced a bill they say will improve school safety in North Carolina.

The bi-partisan bill, House Bill 452, would spend $34 million over the next two years to improve emergency planning, crisis response and prevention in the state's schools.

About $20 million of that would go toward adding school resource officers to middle and elementary schools and paying for additional training for officers already on staff.

The bill does not specify whether the resources officers can carry weapons. That decision will be left to individual districts.

Another $10 million would help school systems pay for guidance counselors, psychologists and social workers.

The final $4 million would be set aside to install panic buttons or similar alarms, directly connected to local law enforcement, in every classroom in the state by July 2015.

The legislation also includes anonymous tip lines, more comprehensive emergency plans for and a crisis kit at each school with first aid supplies and communications devices.

Each school would also be required to give local law enforcement agency schematic drawings of the school and master keys to open the front and back doors of the buildings.

Rep. John Faircloth, R-Guilford, said it's the best proposal he's seen anywhere in the country so far.

Lawmakers have already garnered support from teachers' groups, school administrators and law enforcement groups.

Gov. Pat McCrory recently created the North Carolina Center for Safer Schools to examine the best school security programs across the nation and determine which fit best in school districts statewide.

The legislation could get its first hearing in the House Education committee as soon as next week. 

Source: WRAL

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