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Modest school safety measures making way through California Legislature

Modest school safety measures making way through California Legislature

Alison Yin for EdSource

Excessive school college students throughout lunch at Oakland Technical Excessive School in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Might 1, 2017.

Following the February bloodbath at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive School in Parkland, Fla., California legislators, like their counterparts across the nation, launched various payments to deal with school safety.

Two payments — one by launched by a GOP lawmaker calling for armed cops on each school campus and one other mandating psychological well being professionals in faculties — have already died within the Legislature. However different extra modest measures, having to do with locks on classroom doorways, gun violence restraining orders and school safety plans, are nonetheless alive.

EdSource has been monitoring the progress of those payments. We additionally spoke to school safety and psychological well being specialists concerning the execs and cons of every.

Classroom door locks (AB 3205) — In course of

Abstract: Authored by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Lengthy Seashore, AB 3205 requires that any school modernization challenge accomplished with cash from the state’s school facility bond program embrace locks that permit doorways to lecture rooms and any room with an occupancy of 5 or extra individuals to be locked from the within. This builds on 2010 laws requiring such locks in lecture rooms of all newly constructed faculties. The estimated annual value is as excessive as $750,000, relying on the variety of lecture rooms retrofitted annually.

It’s supported by the California Federation of Academics, California Academics Affiliation and California School Staff Affiliation. There isn’t any formal opposition.

Standing: Handed the Meeting with a unanimous vote and is within the Senate Schooling Committee.

Writer Remark: “I was a classroom teacher for over 20 years and I had to go outside my classroom door during a lockdown to lock the door,” O’Donnell stated. “It does take time — and in active shooting scenarios, seconds matter.”

Professional remark: “This has been an issue with teachers since Columbine. Having to lock the door from the outside does create an additional step for teachers,” stated Kenneth Trump (no relation to President Trump), of Ohio-based Nationwide School Safety and Safety Providers. “But the flip side is you could have a hostage situation, or a sexual assault, and they are able to lock themselves in the room. We need to realize it is not a panacea and could have unintended consequences in other contexts.”

Gun violence restraining orders (AB 2888) — In course of

Abstract: Authored by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, AB 2888 amends the state’s present “red flag” regulation to allow an employer, a co-worker, or an worker of a excessive school or school to request the courts to situation a gun violence restraining order from an individual proudly owning, buying, possessing, or receiving a firearm or ammunition.

It’s supported by the California chapters of the Brady Marketing campaign to Forestall Gun Violence, Coalition Towards Gun Violence, and the Giffords Regulation Middle to Forestall Gun Violence. It’s opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Firearms Coverage Coalition. The legislative evaluation didn’t embrace a price for the invoice.

Standing: Handed the Meeting on a 48-25 vote and is within the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Writer remark: “As we saw in the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, teachers and administrators saw early signs that the suspected gunman, a student, could be a threat,” Ting stated in a information launch. “We want to give schools in California another tool to prevent more campus tragedies.”

Skilled remark: “Regardless of how a district decides to utilize the law if passed, training will be needed so school officials will understand how the law can be applied,” stated Michael Dorn, government director of Georgia-based Protected Havens Worldwide. “We would advise our clients to request law enforcement officials to seek this type of order to reduce the chances that a student who could be dangerous retaliates against a school employee.”

School safety plans (AB 1747) — In course of

Abstract: Authored by Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona, AB 1747 expands the required parts of school safety plans, together with procedures to answer lively shooter conditions, requires faculties to conduct annual lively shooter drills and requires the California Division of Schooling to offer further steerage and oversight of safety plans.

It additionally mandates, starting in 2020, that the Division of Schooling survey districts statewide each different yr to confirm that faculties have submitted safety plans that adhere to the brand new requirements. The estimated annual statewide value of the invoice is $5 million. It’s supported by the American Purple Cross and Widespread Sense Youngsters Motion. There isn’t a formal opposition.

Standing: Handed the Meeting in a unanimous vote and is within the Senate Schooling Committee.

Writer remark: “There haven’t really been any set plans for school districts to be prepared to respond to these types of incidents,” Rodriguez stated. “No one follows up, no one checks on whether these plans are in place. This is something we need to start addressing.”

Professional Remark: “What we worry about are ‘plans in a can’ (one-size-fits-all plans that legislatures mandate for an entire state),” Dorn stated. “If you’re in a rural district where it takes 20 minutes for a cop to respond, you need a far different plan than you do in a district where you’ll have 100 cops in five minutes.”

Associated Payments: Two comparable payments — AB 1983 within the Meeting and SB 1203 within the Senate — additionally addressed safety plans and menace assessments in faculties. The Meeting invoice, authored by Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, died within the Appropriations Committee. The Senate invoice, authored by Patricia Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, handed the Senate and is within the Meeting Schooling Committee.

Psychological well being professionals in faculties (AB 2022) — Drastically scaled again

Abstract: Authored by Assemblyman Kansen Chu, D-San Jose, the unique model of AB 2022 referred to as for each school district or constitution school to have at the least one psychological well being skilled for each 600 college students. At present in California, student-to-school counselor ratios are 792-to-1, school psychologists are 1,265-to-1 and school social staff 12,870-to-1, in response to the legislative evaluation of the invoice. The estimated value of this mandate would have been about $100 million yearly.

It was supported by the American Civil Liberties Union of California, the Melancholy and Bipolar Help Alliance, Incapacity Rights California, the Nationwide Alliance on Psychological Sickness and the Steinberg Institute. The California Nurses Affiliation said that its help would have been contingent on amendments to the invoice.

Standing: The Meeting gutted the unique invoice and handed a model that merely requires a research to be accomplished by July 1, 2020 of the prevailing psychological well being worker-to-student ratios in elementary, center and excessive faculties, together with a set of suggestions on how one can greatest present psychological well being providers to college students. Kansen plans to redraft the laws earlier than introducing it within the Senate, however provided no specifics as to what is perhaps included in a brand new invoice.

Writer remark: “Prevention is the best medicine…I would rather see them spend the money on a social worker than an armed officer,” Assemblyman Chu stated. “The armed officer is an intervention. The social worker is prevention.”

Skilled remark: “I would go with the mental health professional over the armed officer,” stated Kristen Harper, director of coverage improvement for Baby Developments, a Maryland-based youngster improvement analysis group. “I have trouble with the argument that a cop can act like a social worker. If that’s the case, then lets bring in a social worker.”

Associated payments: Three comparable (however much less formidable) payments died within the Meeting Appropriations Committee. They have been: AB 2686, authored by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles; AB 2471, authored by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Oakland; and AB 2498, authored by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton.

A fourth, AB 2315, requires a research of “telehealth” providers for school youngsters, which concentrate on providers that may be given to college students over the telephone. That invoice, authored by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, handed the Meeting and is within the Senate Schooling Committee.

Armed cops in faculties (AB 2067) — Died in committee

Abstract: Authored by Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Chico, AB 2067 referred to as for an armed school useful resource officer on each elementary, center and excessive school campus within the state. The price of implementing this mandate would have been within the excessive $100 tens of millions to greater than a billion dollars. It was supported by the California Rifle and Pistol Affiliation and opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union of California, the California Affiliation of School Enterprise Officers and the general public curiosity regulation agency Public Counsel.

Standing: Died late final month within the Meeting Appropriations Committee. Gallagher indicated he may re-introduce a considerably scaled-down model of the invoice targeted on rural faculties, however has no particular plans.

Writer remark: “I’m looking for a compromise — a way to get more security that is more financially feasible. Maybe a grant program instead of a mandate,” Gallagher stated. “There are a lot of schools in my district and other parts of rural California that don’t have school resource officers.”

Skilled remark: “We are working with districts all over the United States that want to do this, but they are having to make some really tough choices,” Dorn stated. “There are school systems in this country (including rural California) where you have 25 students and the superintendent is driving the bus. They don’t have a school nurse in the whole county.”


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