ATLANTA — The state Senate could approve a bill Monday requiring every public school in Georgia to conduct intruder drills and gang identification training.
Channel 2′s Richard Elliot took the text of the bill to parents in DeKalb County, who told him they think intruder drills are a good idea but also say, they don’t like them.
Even the bill’s author wishes there was no need for a bill like this one.
Jarvis Hampton’s kids went to Redan High School in DeKalb County.
“It’s safer for the kids. That’s what you want, be safe in school,” Hampton said.
Like other parents, he thinks about those searing images outside Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas where a gunman got into the school, opened fire, and murdered 22 students and teachers.
He likes the idea of intruder drills but doesn’t like the reason why he thinks schools need them.
“It’s a sad commentary on where we are not, but you still want to have the kids safe. I’m a little older, so when I was in school, you didn’t have all of this, but now, it’s just a different time now,” Hampton said.
Dawsonville lawmaker Will Wade wrote the school safety act.
“This is going to help encourage schools to update their school safety plan,” Wade said.
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The bill requires all public schools in Georgia to conduct intruder drills.
It also requires schools to submit a safety play to Georgia Emergency Management and homeland Security and trains school employees to recognize gang activity, which is considered a big problem in schools across the state.
Like Hampton, Wade said he wishes it wasn’t necessary, but believes it is.
“We have to make sure that we continue to have thoughtful but relevant measures to protect our students and our faculty so that when they’re in that capsule of education, they don’t have to worry about outside threats,” Wade said.
Elliot also spoke with Timothy Martin Sr. His son, Timothy Jr., goes to a DeKalb Elementary School.
He’s all for the bill, but also worries those intruder drills will scare kids like his son.
“To me, personally, it’s a need for everything that’s going on, but at the same time, it might scare him. That’s what I’m worried about,” Martin Sr. said.
Elliot attempted to contact several metro school districts for comment on this story.
DeKalb County said its public safety gang unit shares information with its law enforcement partners.
Since this bill already passed the House, if the Senate agrees to it, it could go straight to the governor’s desk.
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