Rep. Schroder, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, established an e-mail address for the exclusive purpose of collecting comments on school safety from education professionals, appeared on numerous radio talk shows and television broadcasts statewide to discuss school safety, and invited ideas for school safety on his Facebook page.
Individuals were encouraged to mail their comments to Rep. Schroder’s district office address, as well.
“A short ten weeks ago, our country experienced a horrible tragedy when a gunman walked into an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and killed 20 first-graders and six teachers,” Schroder said. “Since then, a loud debate has ensued whether to restrict guns, arm teachers or install police on school campuses. I wanted to hear the voice of the people who are “in the trenches,” our teachers and school personnel. I strongly believe that in order to craft a solid plan to protect our children, our teachers are our best source of input/experience, and they need to be part of the school safety dialogue. We listened and received comments from around the state, many of them substantive and worthy of a second look. Judging from the content of those e-mails, I believe that we have successfully accomplished what we set out to do,” Schroder said.
The following suggestions were selected from the e-mail lists and Schroder’s Facebook page:
· Install metal detectors at all entrances of school buildings and have armed security at each entrance.
· Install surveillance cameras.
· Develop a standardized plan instructing children what to do in the event of an intruder incident.
· Develop a video to address school safety issues.
· Increase patrols by local police in schools zones.
· Allow school faculty to carry concealed weapons with specialized training from Special Weapons Response Teams.
· Teach lockdown practices.
· Have guidance counselors and school resource officers in every school.
· Hire military veterans to patrol schools.
· Fence in perimeters of schools.
· Have law enforcement evaluate campuses for “weak areas,” or areas of a school campus that are unguarded or unsupervised.
· Guard campuses at all times.
· Train and arm selected teachers with tasers.
· Hire a security force similar to sky marshals to randomly patrol campuses.
Rep. Schroder said, "I strongly believe that we must be proactive and take a serious look at how we can improve mental health services in our schools. We must find a way to provide more counselor support to individual schools. With that said, I have engaged the Dept. of Education and asked for specific ideas and suggestions prior to the convening of the 2013 Legislative Session."
For more information on the results of the school safety input initiative, contact Rep. Schroder at 985-893-6262