Active shooter drills mandatory in Georgia schools after bill passes
The ‘Safe School Act’ passed on the Senate floor
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The HB 147 bill that makes annual active shooter drills mandatory in Georgia classrooms passed on Monday.
Dawsonville Republican Will Wade is a co-sponsor of the bill. HB 147 would require intruder alert drills annually, but it does give parents the option for their child to opt out.
The other focus of the bill gives teachers an option for certification in gang violence reduction. Lobbyists with Georgia Youth Justice Coalition for Action said this bill would open up Pandora’s Box.
“I don’t disagree that that is their intention but I think this is very much the wrong way to go about it,” said Francesca Ruhe, lobbyist.
“We have concerns about that because it’s law enforcement training teachers to identify gang members in the classroom when teachers should be building relationships, shouldn’t be criminalizing students,” said Mason Goodwin, lobbyist.
SCHOOL SAFETY HEADLINES FROM ATLANTA NEWS FIRST
- Public records reveal security concerns of metro Atlanta school leaders
- Safer schools? Metro schools investing thousands in security devices
The lobbyists also believe this is a reactionary policy, not proactive.
“This is a good bill. It promotes the safety of our children and our educational personnel,” said Sen. Mike Hodges, a Brunswick Republican who carries Kemp’s bills as one of his floor leaders.
Hodges said the bill is part of Kemp’s “commitment to keeping our students, teachers, and schools safe.” The governor has emphasized fighting youth gangs and crime as his second term begins.
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