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Legislators Already at Work on School Security Measures

House amendments create vehicle for Holcomb proposals expected next week

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Governor Holcomb is expected to propose new school safety measures next week, but legislators have already started work on some of their own.

The House will vote Monday on a quickly-drafted proposal calling on the Department of Education to review local school safety plans. Legislators required schools to plan for the possibility of a school shooting after the Columbine massacre nearly 20 years ago. House Speaker Brian Bosma says some schools have kept their plans up to date, but it's likely some haven't revisited their plans since the initial draft.

Another amendment tacked on to an education bill was prompted by reports Florida school gunman Nikolas Cruz may have pulled the fire alarm to lure students into the hallways. It's still unclear whether that's what happened or if smoke from the gunfire set off the fire alarms, but the bill now gives teachers leeway to delay evacuating classrooms for up to three minutes to be sure there's not a gunman.

Bosma says tacking on those provisions also creates a home for Holcomb's proposals. Legislative rules require different pieces of a bill to have the same subject matter.

Bosma says a draft version of Holcomb's proposals includes a couple that will require legislative approval before the session ends March 14, and some which will have to wait till next year's budget session.

Holcomb said this week he's looking at proposals to harden security to make sure no one gets into a school who's not supposed to be there, and to improve coordination between school security and police.
 

House Speaker Brian Bosma (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

 

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