Mar 5, 2013 11:15 PM by Erin Steuber

HB79: New School Safety Measures at No Cost to Schools

New school safety measures that won't cost the school boards a penny. That's the proposal from one Acadiana lawmaker and a former school administrator. It's essentially the first school safety bill to be filed in Louisiana since the Sandy Hook massacre.

Locked doors. Empty hallways. That's what you can expect to see while at Erath High School, and the school's former principal wants to make it part of a new state law focusing on school safety.

"We wanted to make sure if there was anyone who did intrude upon that campus there was at least some type of mechanism, or some type of time that could take place, in which they could react if something were to happen," said Francis Touchet.

Touchet now works for the Department of Education, he's working with Abbeville State Representative, Bob Hensgens, on House Bill 79 (HB79). The bill would require teachers to lock doors and work with law enforcement, every year, to create and implement a crisis management plan.

"My idea of a good bill is a simple bill that actually does something. This bill's very simple. It makes sure classroom doors are locked during education periods and we want to make sure law enforcement knows what's going on. If they go to a high school and there's something wrong in the cafeteria, we want law enforcement to know where that is," said Hensgens.

Both men say the bill is meant to be a proactive approach to school safety, ensuring schools state-wide are one the same page.

Two more bills concerning school safety could be on the horizon. One is House Bill 6 (HB6). If passed would allow off-duty law enforcement officers to carry a firearm on school property. The second bill, which hasn't been filed yet, would put armed guards at elementary schools.



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