School safety committee wrapping up its work - WDRB 41 Louisville News

School safety committee wrapping up its work

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The head of the General Assembly's special committee on school safety says not to expect any sweeping recommendations this year.

The committee held its final meeting before the General Assembly returns next week. It dealt mainly with school buildings and how to make them safer by design.

Experts testified about designing schools to protect kids from a wide-range of threats from fires to natural disasters. But most of the attention was focused on keeping out intruders.

"Doors that remain locked and, in the cases of the entry, to have a system that prevents people from entering the building if they have no business there," testified Tim Lucas of the Kentucky Dept. of Education.

But while one lawmaker said the discussion was much-needed, he said Kentucky should not be afraid to take bold action.

"There are seven states debating this issue. Seven states have drawn up laws mandating arming teachers or arming principals or mandating school marshals. Seven states have already done that as Kentucky has the discussion," said Rep. Keith Hall, a Democrat from Phelps, Ky.

But it's unlikely any bold measures will be proposed this year. The committee chairman, Democratic Rep. Richard Henderson of Mt. Sterling, says he's focusing on steps that all schools can take right now.

"Like requiring them to lock the doors. Like requiring the school personnel, the CEOs if you will, the principal, to remain at school all during the day."

Henderson says he'll unveil his recommendations next week. But the most controversial and costly measures will wait until the budget session next year.

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