Last week the Senate unanimously passed SB 5514 addressing notification of schools if there’s an emergency in their area. It requires first responder agencies to alert all public and private schools if there’s a situation in their vicinity that might make an evacuation or lockdown reasonable.
Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, who was the bill’s leading sponsor, stated in a press release “Proper planning is the first step in preventing harm.” He conveyed “The Legislature has done a great deal these last two sessions to ensure we are prepared, but notification must be a key element in any effective plan.”
Now the bill moves to the House, where it got stuck last year. This session the Office of WA State Sheriffs have testified in support of the bill, following the removal of misleading language.
Another compelling committee testimony, a former private-school principal conveyed having no advice from authorities as to whether a lockdown was advisable to his school during the 2012 Café Racer shooting in Seattle. Instead he had to follow the news online as police pursued the gunman in an effort to determine the threat to his campus nearby.
WFIS feels if you contact your legislative representative on the House Education Committee, we can get this bill passed. Tell them to make sure there is a hearing on SB 5514 and you want them to vote in favor moving forward.