School safety bill advances to Senate

Staff, wire reportsFebruary 27, 2013 

The state House voted 96-0 to approve a measure aimed at improving safety in Kentucky schools. House Bill 354 now goes to the Senate, which approved its own school safety proposal earlier this month.

HB 354 would tighten requirements on schools to develop and practice safety plans and drills, require districts to consult with local law enforcement, and look at safety plans when building new schools. The bill also would require a notification process to inform schools when a student with a criminal background or other problems enrolled at their school, and tries to strengthen training for school employees when dealing with students with mental illness.

The measure grew out of a state task force appointed in the wake of killings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Sponsor Richard Henderson, D- Mount Sterling, said earlier this week that next year he would look into more funding for resource officers and school psychologists.

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