Kentucky Lawmakers Propose School Safety Bill
The bill would create a new position of state school security marshal, which would function much like the state’s fire marshal and present a report about their findings and recommendations annually to the Kentucky Center for School Safety board.
- By Jessica Davis
- January 18, 2019
Kentucky lawmakers have introduced a new, 30-page school safety bill intended to make campuses safer and more secure. The measure comes almost a year after a shooting at Marshall County High School, in which a student opened fire, killing two students and injuring many others.
Senate Bill 1, the School Safety and Resiliency Act, was unveiled by Sen. Max Wise and was put together by a 16-member, bipartisan panel of senators and representatives. The bill addresses school safety in four areas: personnel, systems and structures, a culture of student connection and accountability.
The bill would create a new position of state school security marshal, which would function much like the state’s fire marshal and present a report about their findings and recommendations annually to the Kentucky Center for School Safety board, according to Wise. The marshal would report to the commissioner of the Department of Criminal Justice Training.
The measure looks to install more school resource officers and mental health professionals on campuses as soon as funding is available.
The bill will also require districts to appoint a “school safety coordinator,” who will receive state training and provide training for school safety. Certain school staff are required to receive standardized training on responding to active shooter situations by Sept. 15, and will be re-trained annually.
The measure would require every public middle and high school administrator to distribute suicide awareness information via video or live presentation to all students in 6th through 12th grade. There would also be at least an hour of high-quality suicide prevention training for all staff employed by the local board of education whose work involves direct contact with students.
The bill sets a state goal, beginning July 1, 2021, of having one mental health professional per every 1,500 students in schools as funds allow.
Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.