State Rep. Scott VanSingel testified before the House Regulatory Reform Committee this week in support of his plan allowing schools to provide additional safety measures to better protect children in the event of an emergency.
Under VanSingel’s plan, schools would be allowed to seek permission from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to install temporary locking barricades that meet certain safety standards on classroom and hallway doors. Currently, the Construction of School Buildings Act is silent in regard to the installation of these safety devices.
“It’s a sad circumstance that we need to have this conversation as mass shootings are becoming more prevalent today, but it couldn’t be more important that we are giving school officials the opportunity to explore inexpensive ways to better protect our children in the event of an emergency,” said VanSingel, of Grant. “The purpose of this plan is to make sure there are no technicalities in law to act as roadblocks and prevent schools from pursuing additional security.”
The legislation would also require school administrators to notify local law enforcement and fire departments before installing such devices and provide in-service training to staff members working in a building with temporary locking barricades.
Amendments are expected to House Bill 4689 as VanSingel works with legislators to fine-tune particulars. The proposal remains under consideration in the House Regulatory Reform Committee.
PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Scott VanSingel (right) testifies before the House Regulatory Reform Committee this week in support of his legislation allowing schools to better protect students and faculty. Joining him to testify is Nightlock Co-Owner Jack Taylor.