Schools in New York would have a set of minimum safety standards and best practices for securing buildings under legislation proposed by two Democratic lawmakers in the state Assembly.
The proposal, sponsored by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, comes days after a shooting at a school in Nashville that left six people as well as the shooter dead.
“With the increase in mass shootings and other violent crimes across our nation, being prepared must be a priority,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “The most recent school shooting in Nashville that took place just a few days ago has again raised concerns about the security of our schools,” Santabarbara said. “As a parent, especially as a father of a special needs child, these violent incidents are incredibly concerning. I’m cosponsoring this legislation to ensure that all school buildings and grounds are as safe as possible. Ensuring that minimum safety standards are in place is a commonsense step that can help save lives.”
The measure would require the State Education Department to create minimum safety standards and a set of best practices for safety on school property. The State Police superintendent and the commissioner of the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services would help provide input and guidance for the standards.
Heightened concerns over school safety have also been compounded in New York. Last week, multiple schools in regions across New York received false threats of violence that state officials originated overseas.
“Thankfully, every one of those calls were false and there was no harm caused," Sayegh said. "However, these false alarms highlighted the necessity for all our schools to have a School Security and Safety Standard allowing educators and law enforcement officials to protect our students, staff, parents, and schools should an incident arise; therefore, avoiding potential tragedies.”
Lawmakers have also called for legislation that would require schools as well as daycare facilities to develop evacuation plans for children who have disabilities when there is a lockdown or emergency.