Keep Students Safe
• Mandatory School Resource Officers in every public school. These law enforcement officers must either be sworn sheriff’s deputies or police officers and be present during all hoursstudents are on campus. The size of the campus should be a factor in determining staffing levels by the county sheriff’s office. The bill requires each school district to establish or assign one or more safe-school officers at each school facility.
• Require mandatory active shooter training as outlined by the Department of Homeland Security. All training and code red drills must be completed during the first week of each semester in all public schools. Both faculty and students must participate in active shooter drills and local sheriff’s offices must be involved in training. The bill requires active shooter training for school safety specialists, and active shooter drills to be conducted at least as often as other drills.
• Increase funding to address specific school safety needs within each district. This includes school hardening measures like metal detectors, bullet proof glass, steel doors, and upgraded locks. Minimum guidelines and best practices should be developed.
• Require each school district that receives state funds for school hardening to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the local sheriff’s office, the state Juvenile Justice system, child welfare agency, the state law enforcement agency, and any community behavioral health provider for the purpose of sharing information to coordinate services in order to provide prevention or intervention strategies. The bill requires each school district to designate a school safety specialist to serve as a liaison with public safety agencies, authorizes information sharing among agencies, and establishes the multiagency network for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities.
• Establish a new, anonymous K-12 “See Something, Say Something” statewide, dedicated hotline, website and mobile app. The bill requires the procurement of a mobile suspicious activity reporting tool.
• Establish funding to require access to dedicated mental health counselors to provide direct counseling services to students at every school. These counselors cannot serve dual roles, such as teaching or academic advising. Every student must have the opportunity to meet annually one-on-one with a mental health professional, and receive ongoing counseling. The bill establishes a mental health assistance allocation to assist school districts in establishing or expanding school-based mental health care.
• Require each school to have a threat assessment team including a teacher, a local law enforcement officer, a human resource officer, a child welfare employee and a juvenile justice employee, and the principal to meet monthly to review any potential threats to students and staff at the school. The bill requires each school district to provide for the establishment of threat assessment teams at each school that include persons with expertise in counseling, instruction, school administration, and law enforcement.
• Require crisis intervention training for all school personnel. This training must be completed before the 2018 school starts. The bill requires crisis intervention training for school resource officers, and mental health awareness and assistance training for school personnel.
• The bill creates the Office of Safe Schools (OSS) within the Department of Education to serve as a central repository for best practices, training standards, and compliance oversight in all matters regarding school safety and security. OSS is inextricably linked to many school safety provisions.