Kentucky lawmakers unveiled a bill that may include placing marshals in schools for security.
Senate Bill 1, the "School Safety and Resiliency Act," also includes goals for hiring more resource officers and mental health professionals at schools and suicide prevention training for teachers and staff.
It is the product of a working group that held public hearings across the state; surveyed school personnel; and heard from parents, teachers and experts in law enforcement, education and mental health.
According to a Courier Journal report, specifically, the bill would:
- Improve training of school resource officers under the direction of the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training.
- Adopt goals of providing more school resource officers and mental health professionals in schools "as soon as practicable as funds and qualified personnel are available."
- Require districts to provide a school safety director to administer local school safety training.
- Require certain school personnel receive annual training on responding to active shooter situations.
- More explicitly criminalize hoaxes and threats to schools by making such behavior a crime of second-degree terroristic threatening.
- Provide suicide prevention awareness information to all students in grades six through 12 by video or live presentation.
- Require at least one hour of suicide prevention training for staff whose duties require contact with students.
- Create the statewide position of "school security marshal" who would enforce school safety law much as the state fire marshal oversees fire safety law. This official would make annual school safety reports with findings and recommendations.