Georgia senate forms school safety committee

A state senate school safety committee has been appointed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. AJC file photo

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Lt. Governor Casey Cagle on Thursday announced appointments to the Senate School Safety Study Committee.

According to a release from his office, he will charge a bipartisan group of eight senators with recommending comprehensive solutions to protect every community’s schools.

The state house has already put together a similar committee that is set to meet for the first time Monday at the Dawson County Board of Education Professional Development Center in Dawsonville.
Two pieces of legislation aim to find solutions to school safety fears that were heightened after the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school. An armed gunman killed 17 students and staff members.

HB 763 creates Georgia's Safe Schools grant program, providing criteria for $16 million in grant funding allocated to school systems across our state. This legislation also improves coordination between schools and local law enforcement while assisting schools to establish comprehensive school safety plans before the 2018 school year begins. This will include examining best practices to secure campuses and train faculty, teachers, and students to exercise emergency preparedness procedures.
SR 935 will help shape the future of the grant program, in addition to making legislative recommendations that promote the most effective school safety policies. Committee members will travel to every region of Georgia, meeting with parents, teachers, and students, identifying opportunities for improvement in school safety plans, and determining appropriate courses of action to respond effectively to potential threats.

Lt. Governor Cagle has appointed the following members to the Senate School Safety Study Committee:

Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, Chair

Sen. Valencia Seay, D-Riverdale, Vice Chair

Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, R-Marietta

Sen. Fran Millar, R-Atlanta

Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga

Sen. Michael ‘Doc’ Rhett, D-Marietta

Sen. Bruce Thompson, R-White

Sen. Ben Watson, R-Savannah.