Walsh bills prefiled to bring more safety to schools

Representative Jim Walsh has prefiled two bills concerning the safety of schools in Washington.

In the first bill, Walsh proposes placing a school resource officer in every school “to promote a safe learning environment and to protect the safety and welfare of all students and school personnel”.

HB 1035 cites recent violence at schools across the nation, saying that the acts have “threatened the safety of children”.

The bill would provide funding to employ a full-time school resource officer in every school in the state.

The salary for each school resource officer would start at $70,000 under the bill, adjusted for inflation and regional salary impacts. These funds are stated as being part of the funding “deemed necessary by the legislature to support school districts in offering the minimum program of basic education” according to the bill.

If brought to the floor for a vote and passed, the school resource officers would be placed in schools starting in the 2019/2020 school year.

HB 1038, also prefiled this week, would allow public school districts and private schools to authorize permanent employees to possess firearms on school grounds under certain conditions, also citing “recent acts of mass violence across the nation” saying that this has “threatened the safety of children at school”.

The bill states that “school staff can be a further security resource when they receive training that is equivalent to training received by law enforcement” and would allow school districts to adopt policies for “trained and certified staff to conceal, carry, and further protect our students from harm”.

It states that at a minimum,  employees would be required to successfully complete firearms training “equivalent to that received by commissioned law enforcement”.

School districts would be able to make the change immediately following passage.

 

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