Lawmakers look to harden school security

Lawmakers are calling for expanded police presence in schools, district-wide safety plans and facility security updates in the wake of yet another school shooting and increasing threats of violence against students. Both AB 1747 and AB 2067 passed the Assembly Education committee last week. The first requires schools to develop safety plans in order to prepare and respond to violent incidents on or near school sites, and the second calls for districts to place at least one school resource officer that is armed in every school.

As both the number of violent incidents and threats of violence have increased, especially in recent months, so have the calls for reform. Since last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in which 17 people died, about 50 threats of violence against schools have been made each day on average, compared to an average of about 10 per day in years past, according to the Educators School Safety Network. The national organization which tracks school threats says California leads the list of schools that have had an increase in threats, which states including Pennsylvania, New York, Florida and Illinois also seeing sharp jumps.

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