Schools, Law Enforcement Would Conduct Shooter Drills With Students Present
By Josh Mitchell/Corinth Today
A Mississippi lawmaker has sponsored a bill that would require schools to work with law enforcement to conduct drills addressing active shooters and other emergencies.
Students would have to be present when the drills were conducted, according to the bill sponsored by State Rep. Christopher Bell, D-Jackson.
At least “one emergency law enforcement drill per semester” would have to be conducted to address emergencies, including active shooters and other situations.
Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell said his office currently conducts school safety training on a regular basis. Caldwell said his office works closely with the superintendent and principals of each school to make sure officials are prepared for incidents.
The bill aims to “help curb the growing incidence of violence in schools” by requiring school safety plans that include training on school violence prevention, school security, school threat assessment, mental health awareness and other issues.
It would also require evaluating and refining school security measures and strengthening partnerships with public safety officials. Moreover, it calls for creating crisis communication plans and social media strategies.
School districts would receive assistance from state officials for crisis response teams, site surveys, safety audits, crisis management planning and other safety areas.
Under the bill, students, parents, teachers, public safety officials and others must be given the opportunity to provide input into the plans.
The plans would have to be approved by the local law enforcement and emergency management officials as well as the state department of education.
The bill is HB 332.