.

TELL US: Should School Safety Plans Be Made Public?

The Rhode Island Senate passed two bills Tuesday to improve school safety, but they also make safety plans exempt from public records. What do you think? Should these plans be made public?

School safety is on everybody's mind, especially after the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT, which was deemed the worst school shooting in recent U.S. history. 

On Tuesday, the Rhode Island Senate passed two bills aimed at improving school safety. 

The first bill, 2013-S 0800A, introduced by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D- Cranston, West Warwick), directs the commissioner for elementary and secondary education to certify annually that all school safety plans and school emergency response plans have been reviewed and updated as appropriate.

The second bill, 2013-S 0801A, sponsored by Gallo, requires all schools to perform a school safety assessment in conjunction with local police, fire and school safety teams within 30 days of passage of the legislation and every three years thereafter.

“We can never be complacent about the safety of children and employees in schools around the state,” said Gallo. 

However, the bills also make school safety assessment and school safety plans exempt from public records law, and all meetings of the schools safety team are not subject to open meetings laws.

On one hand, making safety plans exempt from the public prevents potential criminals from knowing plans. On the other hand, making the safety plans private prevents the public and parents from reviewing the plans and providing input. 

We want to know what you think. Should school safety plans be made public? Tell us in the comment section below! 

Joseph May 23, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Of course they should be public, taxpayers have to fund this line item and will be left out of the budgeting process. If you have a safety plan that is effective why would it matter if everyone has access to it or not, it has to be done right. If someone wants to find out a secret safety plan it wouldn't be hard to find out. Stake out the school and observe drills that will definitely have to be practiced by the students. Elected school board members are not sworn to secrecy, they are not vetted with background checks, whose to say a potential terrorist wanted the info he or she could get elected to the school board and have access to that information anyway. If it is getting funded by the taxpayer, the taxpayer should have input into the process.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »