Security Magazine

Rhode Island Unveils School Safety Plans

February 12, 2014

RI Governor Chafee has released a school safety plan.

The plan is based on legislation introduced last year by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara, chairman of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, and Sen. Hanna M. Gallo, D-Cranston, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, on Chafee’s behalf, said the Providence Journal.

"The model plan was signed into law by Chafee in July. It requires school districts to work with local police and fire departments and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) to conduct school-safety assessments and create emergency plans," said the Providence Journal. "The new resource includes an emergency planning guide and two FEMA publications on how to develop high-quality emergency operations for grades K-12 and for colleges."

The plan was developed in collaboration with the state Department of Education, RIEMA, the state police, the state fire marshal’s office and other agencies.

School committees are now required on an annual basis to update safety and emergency plans. By Dec. 13 of each year, the state education commissioner must present a safety assessment to the General Assembly, said the Providence Journal.

A crisis team from the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals is available to work with students and staff on a variety of health and safety issues, including trauma, student mental health and grief counseling.