With the number of school shootings nationwide on the rise, new legislation in New York State is aimed at making sure students, faculty, and administrators know what to do in case a similar type emergency were to occur.
“Adding mandatory lockdown safety drills are certainly appropriate for the time and age that schools face,” Said Douglas.
Currently, lockdown drills are recommended but not required. A new law effective June 1st will change that, mandating a minimum of 4 lockdown drills in the first half of the year. Something Douglas says is a sign of the times with the number of school shootings on the rise.
“Somebody doesn’t always think it can happen to them or to their area we just need to be vigilant and be looking out for each other constantly to minimize these safety infractions,” Said Douglas.
So from now until the law takes effect next month, school officials statewide will be evaluating how to best incorporate the new lockdown drills into current safety regulations.
“We have a district wide safety team, we also have a building wide safety team, and we’re fortunate that we also have a school resource officer that also assists us especially at the secondary level that right now is being contracted through the Chemung County Sheriff’s office so we look at all the players to weigh in and participate in trying to develop the best possible plan,” Said Douglas.
Douglas says although he supports new legislation school safety is really a community effort.
“Be vigilant, pay attention to our students at home, pay attention to our students when they’re out and about, pay attention to our communities and activities, and always be willing to step up and be accountable,” Said Douglas.
To accommodate the extra drills, the law also lessons the required amount of fire drills required in a school year from a minimum of 12 to at least 8.