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Legislative School Security Working Group Heralds Passage of Bill to Further Protect our Students

Posted on May 28, 2019 by admin


HARTFORD – State Representatives JP Sredzinski (R-112)Christie Carpino (R-32)Carol Hall (R-59) and Dorinda Borer (D-115) are celebrating last weeks’ passage of a bill they worked hard to promote as members of the Connecticut School Security Working Group.

House Bill 7291An Act Concerning School Security, requires the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) to update school security and safety plan standards, simplify school security reporting requirements and infrastructure grant applications, and identify qualified school security consultants and limit the existing registry to such individuals only.

“We set out to form the School Safety Working Group to answer the question, ‘Are we doing everything we can to keep our kids safe at school?’” said Rep. Sredzinski, co-sponsor of the bill and Ranking Member of the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee. “I thank Former State Representative Brian Ohler for helping to put this team together. Many ideas came out of this group, including the physical security of the buildings, school safety personnel, and even social-emotional learning, among other instructional items. This is a great bill – it passed out of the Public Safety Committee unanimously thanks to the help of Chairman Verrengia and will be done within available appropriations, so it has no fiscal impact on the State of Connecticut.”

“The conversation regarding school security continues to evolve and we must remain vigilant,” said Rep. Carpino. “Experts and community members across Connecticut shared their thoughts and experience with the working group to form these proposals. This legislation will go a long way in helping our students and educators have a safe learning environment.”

“Since we began this working group in April of last year we heard from a wide range of stakeholders and organizations,” said Rep. Hall, Chairperson of the working group. “This legislation is the result of months of hard work and expert testimony. This particular bill directly addresses issues identified by local boards of education and school safety standards enforced by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. School safety and security is an ongoing issue that we cannot afford to lose sight of. I want to thank the Public Safety Committee and my colleagues for passing this legislation unanimously. This bill is just part of the package that we put together; I look forward to the House taking up the education and social/emotional learning legislation in the coming days.”

“Our children spend over 1,000 hours a year in school – not one of those minutes should be spent in fear for their lives,” said Rep. Borer. “The School Security Working Group focused our efforts on searching for an ongoing process to review school security in a holistic way. The passage of this legislation marks a significant step towards reaching that goal. ”Upon passage in the Senate and a signature from Governor Lamont, this bill – with the exception of the requirements concerning the school security consultant registry – will become effective on October 1, 2019.