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Lawmakers discuss school security

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Posted: Jan 17, 2013 5:51 PM by Rob Krieger
Updated: Jan 17, 2013 5:51 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Guns, Schools, Safety, Capitol, John White, Mike Edmonson, Michael Faulk, Steve Monaghan

BATON ROUGE- Louisiana Legislators are trying to figure out the best ways to keep children safe in school, following last months massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary that left 20 children dead.

The Homeland Security Committee met for hours at the Capitol to discuss ways to improve security and look at options some schools are already taking to keep students safe.

"Schools and school boards, while ultimately responsible for what goes on in the school building, should, we think, have a tighter tie to law enforcement in the design and implementation of these plans, and perhaps they should be designed and implemented jointly, not simply with input from law enforcement," said State Superintendent of Education John White.

The President signed orders yesterday providing incentives for schools to hire resource officers to protect children, something several leaders think is a move in the right direction.

"It's an outstanding idea to have an individual from law enforcement on campus, that's trained to do things from a prospective of what kids are doing inside the school, keep in mind, those school resource officers, those dare officers are dealing with what's going on inside the school, they're dealing with internal problems," said Col. Mike Edmonson with Louisiana State Police.

"Where you have a large school district, that's kind of cost prohibitive, so there's other things you can do, you can increase security measures, access to schools, I know one school districts is looking at social workers," said Michael Faulk, President of the Louisiana Association of State Superintendents and Superintendent at Central Community Schools.

Still, some leaders think a measure approach will be best for students.

"We all grew up in a time when the irregular fire drill sufficed, unfortunately we're no longer in that position any more, but there is a thin line to making or creating a since of paranoia and fear that could interfere with learning," said Steve Monaghan with the Louisiana Federation of Teachers.

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