Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) and Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) have introduced legislation to examine the safety of Rhode Island’s schools and to ensure that school safety plans are adopted in each school department.
“Every school district in the state is required to conduct a safety assessment of each of its school buildings,” said Speaker Mattiello. “It’s come to our attention that many districts have either procrastinated in completing these assessments or have shirked them altogether. In today’s climate, where the safety and security of our schools has become such a grave concern to parents, educators and public officials, these assessments simply cannot be neglected.”
To ensure that the assessments are being completed in a timely fashion, the bill (2018-H 7694, 2018-S 2639) would require that school districts provide the safety assessments to the Rhode Island School Safety Committee every three years for review and recommendations.
“There is nothing more pressing right now than school safety,” said Senator Gallo, who served as chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Education.“We have laws in place requiring comprehensive school safety plans regarding crisis intervention, emergency response, and management. But we need to know that no school district is dropping the ball on this issue. We need to keep our students safe, and we’re going to make sure it’s getting done.”