The Mississippi House passed a new school safety bill that can better prepare schools for active shooter situations.
This bill would require safety inspections and active shooter drills in all public schools in the state two times a year. It would also create a threat-reporting mechanism monitored by analysts at the state department of public safety.
When first brought up, it was a controversial bill due in part because active shooter drills were thought to possibly scare students. Ultimately, it passed the House by a vote of 114-3 and now it will be sent to the Senate.
Officials in the Ocean Springs School District say they are ready for this bill to go into full effect because for them the safety of their students is first. Ocean Springs School District Operations Director Brooks McKay said, “You hope in that situation that you are prepared as you can be because you are going to react how you prepare and so yeah we feel that the mandates help. We already do a lot. We do more than what is required now but the mandates help us to focus. We already have a lot of focus, we’ve spent a lot of money in our district upgrading facilities. Just trying to be the safest that we can and so it really resonates with us that we are doing the right thing and that the state really supports our efforts.”
Governor Phil Bryant also suggested during the discussion for every school to have a resource officer that would act as an armed law enforcement officer.