Amended school safety bill passes Alabama Senate • Alabama Reflector | #schoolsaftey

The Alabama Senate Tuesday unanimously approved a bill setting safety requirements for public schools in the state.

SB 98, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, will require schools to employ a series of school safety criteria, including security cameras, alarm systems, door locks, emergency escapes and “any other physical measures” used to strengthen school security. 

The local school board is meant to review and update the rubric periodically.

Once every five years, a school security inspector will ensure compliance with school safety criteria.

The amended bill passed 33-0.

The bill also creates the School Security and Fire Safety Fund within the Alabama State Treasury. The board can award grants to local boards to comply with the criteria, as well as to implement fire safety recommendations from a fire marshal or any assistants.

Under the legislation, the board will develop an application form and prioritize grants for schools that receive a “D” or “F” in their inspection. An “F” is a failure to comply.

Boards that receive the grant must use them to improve school facilities in compliance with state building code and rules adopted by the board. The bill also outlines how the money should be budgeted and allotted.

“The less secure schools will get the funding first,” said Orr on Tuesday.

The amended version of the bill says that ALEA will collaborate with local boards on mapping data “subject to the appropriation of funds for this purpose.”

After the inspection, the inspector will provide each facility with a score and recommendations. The local board of education will also receive a score and recommendations for improvement.

The bill also creates a School Mapping Data Program within the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to create maps of schools for emergencies. ALEA is meant to adopt the rules to administer and implement the program.

The bill states that ALEA will collaborate with local boards of education to have accurate maps of all schools in the state that include “accurate floor plans of each school overlaid on current, verified aerial imagery of the campus.” The maps will also:

  • Be oriented north.
  • “Be verified by the entity producing the data for accuracy by a walk-through of school buildings and grounds.”
  • Have labeling that matches the structure of school buildings that includes room labels, hallway names, external door or stairway numbers and hazard locations, “critical utility locations,” key boxes, automated external defibrillators and trauma kits.
  • Have labeling that matches the school grounds, includes parking areas, athletic fields, surrounding roads and neighboring properties.
  • Have an overlaid grid with x- and y-coordinates.

Updates will be made to the maps as ALEA deems necessary. They will be accessed “software platforms used by the local, county, state, and federal public safety agencies that provide emergency services to the specific school.” The data will also be compatible with security software programs in use by the school.

The bill also requires maps to be printable and to be integrated into interactive mobile platforms if requested. The legislation says no entity will be required to purchase additional software or pay a fee to access the map.

Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, complimented the bill and said that schools, especially in isolated areas, don’t have a lot of money.

“Security is very important and it’s just the world we live in now, whether we like it or not,” he said.

The bill moves to the House of Representatives.


Source link


Click Here For The Original Source.


National Cyber Security