HARTFORD, CT – State Representative Michael Ferguson (R-138) has joined a new bi-partisan legislative school safety and security working group to better address the effectiveness of current school security-focused legislation and programs, as well as a canvass of current attitudes, concerns and trends in securing our schools.
Ferguson is a former Danbury Board of Education member and a member of the legislature’s Education committee who has cognizance over education policy in Connecticut.
“This school safety and security working group will allow for a full examination and evaluate the effectiveness of current school security-focused legislation and programs throughout the state. Recent national school violence has created unease among state students and parents regarding their safety in our schools. We, as legislators, have an obligation to talk and consult security experts and education stakeholders to reassure state residents that our institutions of learning throughout our state are as safe as possible,” said Rep. Ferguson.
Ferguson and other legislators on the working group are looking to analyze:
- Summarize current school safety legislation;
- Measure school districts’ knowledge of current legislation;
- Use and availability of existing state and federal funds;
- Review of whether regulations and associated programs have been implemented;
- Availability of school-based mental health professionals;
- Parents’ knowledge and understanding of their district’s security measures;
- Local educators’ view of the effectiveness of legislation and related programs;
- Determine viability of school security measures installed years ago;
- Identify new trends and techniques in school security;
- Collect recent concerns of educators, students and law enforcement;
- Determine what other states are doing
The legislators also intend to communicate with their districts, teachers, superintendents, and students to get feedback on what has been done, how things have changed and what they still feel needs to change.
Among the working group’s proposed participants:
- Republican and Democrat legislators;
- School superintendents;
- Law enforcement personnel;
- Mental health professionals for children.
- Federal agency liaisons
- School security consultants
- Students and parents
A recent report showed Connecticut was above the national average in the percentage of high school students who have been threatened or injured with a weapon at school, in the percentage of teachers who were threatened or attacked, and in the percentage of high school students who said they carried a weapon during the past month, among other categories.
From the Office of John M. Dooley IV, CT House Republicans