New bill filed to increase school safety in Kentucky

By: Brittany Pelletz Email
By: Brittany Pelletz Email

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - State Representative Richard Henderson filed House Bill 135 today. His new legislation would call for all Kentucky schools to have a comprehensive emergency plan in place.

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut prompted action in the commonwealth.

"What this bill does is put a common sense approach to school safety," says Rep. Henderson.

Henderson helped to create a task force to come up with ideas to make local schools safer, "This bill will require all school buildings to be locked, exterior doors. Under this particular piece of legislation the doors would also be locked in the classrooms when practical."

Another component of House Bill 135 would be a new numbering system on school campuses. Representatives from the Franklin County Sheriff's office realized by numbering doors and windows, emergency personnel could respond to situations quicker.

"One of the biggest challengers for first responders in any active shooting situation is, how to get to where it is. We don't know the schools, we're not there every day," says Franklin County Sheriff, Pat Melton.

While it is not required yet, two schools in Frankfort have already implemented the number system.

"We ran a test with Frankfort EMS. The first crew responded in seven minutes. The second crew came in and they responded in two minutes with the new numbering system. So significant time to engage a shooter and ultimately that's going to save lives," adds Melton.

House Bill 135 would require schools to carry out regular drills for lock-down situations, tornadoes, and fires.

Next year, Representative Henderson wants to focus new legislation on requiring a school resource officer in every Kentucky school.

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