Brittany ComakFeb 25, 2018, 6:58 pmFeb 26, 2018, 3:42 pm

Proposed law requires school buildings to undergo ‘threat assessments’

Senator says districts need to take ‘proactive’ approach to security


NEW YORK STATE — State Sen. Phil Boyle is proposing legislation that would require all school districts to do threat assessments of their buildings. In the wake of the most recent school shooting in Florida, Boyle will be advancing legislation that would require all New York school districts to assess their buildings with an emphasis on security.

"We see threats that have taken place time and time again, such as the tragedy in Florida, and I think there may be threats in the future that we're not even thinking about," Sen. Boyle said.

Sen. Boyle says under the new law, schools would contract security professionals to provide insight on school security, focusing on access points like windows and doors.

He believes that lockdown drills are necessary but that more needs to be done.

"But that's more reactive than pro-active. We need to have our schools know what potential threats are out there. And that way, they can come up with a true plan to protect our students," he said.

Confident the legislation will pass, he says the New York State Education Department would provide funding for these assessments. He believes the cost should not be too high since, he says, some school districts have already done these assessments, including the Islip School District. On their website, the district lists their comprehensive security plan with a section on "Building Access" which says, “The district has installed state-of-the-art security cameras, which enable the viewer to monitor building perimeters and main lobby access. All exterior doors are locked with electronic access by personnel only. Sign-in and sign-out procedures enable the district to monitor all visitors."

"The most important function of state government is to educate our children, but we cannot really educate our children if they're under threat," Boyle said.

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