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Safety Law News for August 17, 2019

In Virginia, Fairfax County Public Schools has revised its School Resource Officer Program. The new program establishes a clear division between the SROs’ role and the school administration’s role. It adds mandatory training for SROs on implicit bias, disability awareness and cultural competency, and ensures parents are contacted prior to student searches and interrogations. 

In Tennessee, the Governor is making available $35 million to help improve the safety of schools across the state.  $25 million will go towards one-time improvements that address school facilities, safety procedures and safety needs. The remaining $10 million will be in the form of recurring grant funding. 

In Maryland, officials from the St. Mary’s County Schools shared their account of the March 2018 shooting at Great Mills High School.  Their experiences translated into recommendations for essential policies every school should have. St. Mary’s officials stressed the importance of planning far in advance for a potential school shooting, having a plan for where they will reunite the families of surviving students after a shooting, and planning for how to foster healing after students’ and teachers’ sense of security has been shattered. 

In Texas, the Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security released its full report with four recommendations to the Legislature for the upcoming session.   Included in the recommendations: improving the infrastructure and design of Texas schools, improving school security training programs, improving assessment of risk factors and protective factors that can lead to mass campus shootings, and improving strategies to identify and intercept high-risk students.

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