NC Success Story: School Safety
Raleigh, N.C. – In the wake of incidents of violence in schools across the country, school safety has become a topic of increased concern for parents in North Carolina. Legislative Republicans share this concern and have focused both on immediate needs to protect our children from attackers and long-term solutions to prevent crises from arising.
Republican legislators took the first steps to better protect schoolchildren in North Carolina in the 2013 budget. They established the school resource officer grant program, which provided $7 million in recurring funds, available via grants to local school districts to hire school resource officers to protect elementary and middle schools. The legislature also gave local school boards the option to enter into agreements with local law enforcement agencies to provide security through volunteer school safety resource officers, who are required to be former law enforcement or military police officers.
“Parents shouldn’t have to worry about the safety of their children at school. Unfortunately that’s a reality of the world we live in today,” said Sen. Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston). “That’s why it was so important for Senate Republicans to take these steps to safeguard North Carolina schools so that parents know when they send their children to school every day, they will be safe.”
In 2015, the General Assembly included further measures to safeguard North Carolina schools in the budget and focused specifically on taking a proactive approach to school safety. The budget directed the Center for Safer Schools to construct and maintain a statewide school risk and response management system and also provide guidance to local school districts on hazards to plan and respond to, including intruders on school grounds. It further directed local boards of education to adopt School Risk Management Plans relating to incidents of school violence in coordination with local law enforcement and emergency management, ensuring that schools and law enforcement are ready to respond should a worst case scenario take place. The budget also required a statewide panic alarm system to launch real-time 911 messaging to public safety answering points.
“The possibility of violence occurring at a school is not something that anyone wants to think about,” said Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth). “But by being prepared and having these response plans in place, schools are better equipped to deal with these situations should they arise, and to make sure that our children remain safe.”
September 24th, 2018
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