House approves school safety bill, but not funding - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

House approves school safety bill, but not funding

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The North Carolina House passed a bill that will improve school safety, but the millions of dollars needed to fund it were pulled from the bill and may not be fully approved.

"The money parts were taken out to be put separately in the house budget," said Representative Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland).

Thursday afternoon, the House unanimously approved a stripped down measure of the bill, which still mandates that schools have emergency response plans and crisis training programs, but the money to fund many other safety measures is now dependent on being approved as part of the upcoming state budget.

That includes $34 million for more school resource officers, additional psychologists and social workers to identify troubled kids and money for in-classroom panic buttons.

Glazier says House leadership has promised the money will be in its budget, but no one is sure if the Senate will eliminate part or all of that funding from its version of the budget.

"It would be extremely disappointing to a lot of people and lead to a less-secure setting for children in our public schools if these monies were not kept in by the senate," Glazier said.

Although parent Steve Lisowe believes in school security, he's not so sure he wants money spent on things like panic buttons.

"Panic buttons and lockdowns are worthless once a bad guy is in the building," Lisowe said.

Lisowe says he prefers a more active deterrent.

"Schools should allow teachers who are comfortable carrying a concealed weapon to have those concealed weapons," he said.

Meanwhile, other parents believe there are some school safety improvements, like locking doors, that could provide immediate additional security and wouldn't cost a dime.

"I have very easy access to my daughter's school," explained parent Nancy Carlson, "Her school is too easy to get into and out of, and there's no one there to help you if something goes wrong."

  • DIG DEEPER: Click here to read the full text of the School Safety bill as currently written.

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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