The Georgia Senate approved a bill on Monday that would mandate yearly active shooter drills in state K-12 public schools.
After passing the state house in February, the state senate approved House Bill 147 in a 52-3 vote, which will require school districts to annually conduct active shooter drills by Oct. 1 which students must participate in unless the district adopts an opt-out policy. The state senate rejected several amendments to the bill, including one that would have required school districts to provide parents with an opt-out policy. (RELATED: Texas School Board Approves Policy That Allows Educators To Carry Guns)
“This is a good bill. It promotes the safety of our children and our educational personnel,” Republican state Sen. Mike Hodges told the Associated Press.
Supporters of the failed amendment argued that active shooter drills can scare younger students and for that reason school districts should be required to allow parents to choose if their child participates, according to AP News.
“Research on active shooter drills show that active shooter drills make students feel unsafe, scared, helpless and sad, and their efficacy is sadly questionable,” Democratic state Sen. Elena Parent told the outlet.
The bill, backed by Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, requires all eligible school employees to complete a state approved school safety and anti-gang training program which teaches “multidisciplinary best practices for promoting and preserving safe schools and for identifying and deterring youth gangs.” Under the legislation, the state’s Professional Standards Commission must draft an anti-gang and school safety plan while school districts must submit their current precautions to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency.Republican Gov. Brian Kemp addresses supporters at a watch party after winning re-election on election night on November 8, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kemp defeated Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams in a repeat of their 2018 race. (Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images)
Under the legislation, any one convicted of recruiting a minor to join a gang could face up to 10 years in prison without parole.
“I am concerned that identification-focused training could result in racial profiling of students, and it could increase their likelihood that they’ll be exposed to the criminal justice system,” state Democratic Sen. Nikki Merritt told the AP.
In November, the FBI investigated a series of active shooter hoaxes that affected several Georgia school districts, according to 11 Alive. In 2022, Kemp pushed the state to have 400 additional school resource officers trained among school districts.
Hodges did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.