Legislation sponsored by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to require school districts to identify — and come up with plans for addressing — potential safety hazards every three years won the unanimous approval of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, without debate.
Rhode Island already has a School Safety Committee, headed by state police Capt. Derek Borek, that meets monthly. And the state already has a law that requires each city, town and regional school department to assess school hazards and adopt of a school-safety plan.
But in the wake of the Florida high school massacre that killed 17 people, state lawmakers learned that only a third of the school districts in Rhode Island had submitted completed safety plans to the school-safety committee.
“It’s come to our attention that many districts have either procrastinated in completing these assessments or have shirked them altogether,? Mattiello said Wednesday. ” 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.”