School safety heating up as political topic


The second of two legislative school safety study committees held its first public meeting Friday.

About 100 people showed up for the Georgia Senate School Safety Study Committee, headed by Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, at North Springs Charter High School.

About 100 parents, students, teachers, law-enforcement officers and other interested people heard the discussion from school safety professionals already at work in Georgia, two students, teachers and others.

Albers said he wants the committee to come to the table with no preconceived ideas. He also said that he recognizes there is going to be no one-size-fits-all answer to whatever Georgia’s 180 school districts do.

There will be other committee hearings held across the state to get input from many voices, he said.

School safety as an issue has continued to ramp up since the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., in February. The Florida legislature passed legislation with bipartisan support after the shooting, raising the minimum age for purchasing firearms from 18 to 21 and imposing a three-day waiting period for most purchases of rifles and shotguns.

In Georgia, during the waning days of the legislative session, Georgia came up with $16 million for school safety issues, which will be divided among the counties.

Some Georgia school districts have taken the first step to allow teachers to be armed.

A Georgia House study committee, given the same task as the Senate committee of listening and then coming up with suggestions for what Georgia must do to make schools safer, met once in May. The committees will make their reports later this year.

“We are listening and are going to come up with actionable solutions and are going to make our schools safe,” Albers said after the meeting.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will follow these important issues  as they happen and update readers

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