school safety

Kentucky Legislators Debate New School Safety Standards

Feb 22, 2013

A bill that would create new statewide school safety standards has unanimously passed the House Education Committee and will soon be considered on the floor. The bill's sponsor, Mt. Sterling Democrat Richard Henderson, says he worked with a special task force for months before the start of this legislative session to come up with the plan.

It would require each school to have an emergency plan, have electronically controlled outside doors or a greeter to manage who gets in and to lock classroom doors when practical. the bill also creates a uniform system of numbering all schools' doors and windows, created by a Franklin County school resource officer.

Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton says he recently tested it on more than 150 superintendents and law enforcers and most were able to learn the system in about five minutes.

An Eastern Kentucky lawmaker says the state needs to study whether it can put armed officers and metal detectors in all of Kentucky's 1,245 public schools in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings.

State Rep. Richard Henderson, D-Mount Sterling, said he will form a task force to look into the matter.

Last week, Jon Akers, director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety, which helps schools develop state-mandated safety plans, said there are 221 public schools in the state with on-site school resource officers.