Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The "gun bill" (plus) is moving: UPDATED a trifle

From earlier tonight:
You can find the bill's text here.  Remember, this includes:

  • a requirement that schools each have a "safe and supportive schools plan" which fall within the "safe and supportive schools framework" which has to be developed by DESE. There will be professional development. There will be reports required by the state. There will be a commission. There won't be any funding provided by the state, 'though their commission is going to look for federal funding. UPDATE: this has been amended to be "subject to appropriation."
  • a requirement for two hours of suicide prevention training for all staff. No funding.
  • a requirement that each school building have a separate and devoted two-way communication devise directly to emergency services. No, there is not funding for that, either, nor is there any mention of the myraid of communication devices one finds in a school these days.
  • a requirement--pending state funding, on this one--that school safety be in the hands of a police officer, jointly appointed by the police chief and the superintendent. Discipline in the hands of educators? No longer in Massachusetts.
Cheers to Rep. Denise Provost, who tried to amend the various school mandate pieces(you can find that by clicking the "amendments" tab; my earlier posts on that here and here), with mixed success.
Yes, suicide prevention is important, as are safe and supportive schools. However...
Can we please stop thinking that commissions and talking at people fixes things? Can we stop thinking that school districts need individual directives for every circumstance?
Maybe once in awhile, someone could ask the people closest to schools what would work?

On to the Senate. Have you talked to them lately?

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