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February17

SB 63: Safety plan bill sees favor in House comm.

A bill implementing a school safety plan process is a step closer to becoming law.

 

Members of the House Education committee passed Senate Bill 63, which requires school districts to implement, practice and review safety plans, on a vote of 10-3 on Wednesday (2/17).

 

“Whatever plan is best for the school, that’s what we’re suggesting,” Sen. Larry Tidemann, the bill’s sponsor, testified. “There’s a plan that’s put in place (by the school) to take care of the students and the teachers.”

 

SB 63 calls for the organization of a school safety committee in each district, development of a plan, scheduled school safety drills and an annual meeting to review the plan. During the bill’s committee hearing in the Senate SASD Executive Director Rob Monson noted that 99 percent of school districts that responded to a survey cited they have a safety plan in place.

 

“This is good policy,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said, noting that ASBSD has a standing position in place emphasizing the importance of school safety.

 

Committee members who expressed opposition to the bill agreed with the concept, but believed schools could implement the process the on their own.

 

Vermillion School District and Irene-Wakonda School District Paul Pederson said the bill would empower the school and staff with the knowledge of what to do should an incident occur.

 

“(Schools can) start to plan and get themselves prepared for what to do for their students,” Pederson said.

 

ASBSD supports the bill, which now heads to the House floor for review. For updates on the legislation check out the ASBSD Blog, Twitter feed and Bill Tracker page.

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