February 22, 2013

Kentucky School Safety Bill Focuses on Mental Health, Safety Drills

The majority of House Bill 354, which deals with the issue of school safety, targets the streamlining of existing practices, including the improvement of drills and safety plans, security as part of the architecture of the school buildings, and better communication with the police.

Also very important is the inclusion of mental illness being a big part of school safety. To that end the bill would mandate that the Kentucky Department of Education work on being able to better communicate with school concerning the past behavior of students, and for them and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to work on empowering school employees to recognize and give aid to those students with mental health problems.

Unfortunately, the defense of last resort - armed and trained school personnel - wasn't mentioned in the bill, as that is what would really save lives if someone is able to enter school grounds or buildings with murder as their intent.

That should be squarely faced because there is no way for the majority of Kentucky schools to have trained law enforcement officers on hand. Less than 20 percent of the schools in Kentucky have on staff as of this writing.

The bill received unanimous approval, and now goes to the House to be taken under consideration.

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