Stripped-down school safety bill clears House

Posted April 25, 2013

— A bill to upgrade security at North Carolina public schools unanimously passed the House on Thursday after its sponsors removed provisions that would pay for school resource officers, counselors and classroom panic buttons.

Rep. Bryan Holloway, R-Stokes, one of the primary sponsors, vowed that the $34 million earmarked for those items over the next two years would be included in the state budget. He said it was important to move House Bill 452 to the Senate so that other elements could be considered.

"Without safety in our schools, nothing else really matters," Holloway said.

Measures that remained in the stripped-down bill include establishing anonymous tip lines for each school, requiring schools to develop more comprehensive emergency plans and hold annual safety exercises, and providing local law enforcement with schematic drawings of and master keys to each school.

The bill originally called for using $20 million to provide a 2-1 match for local funding so school districts could hire school resource officers for middle and elementary schools and pay for additional training for officers already on staff.

School districts still have the option, under the bill approved Thursday, of using retired law enforcement officers or military personnel as volunteer school resource officers. They would be vetted by and work under the guidance of the local sheriff's office.

School security, Orange County Sheriff's Office patrol car State money removed from school safety proposal

Another $10 million included in the original bill would have helped districts pay for more guidance counselors, psychologists and social workers. Supporters have said the added personnel would help identify troubled students who might pose a threat.

Also, $4 million that was removed from the bill would have been used to install panic buttons or similar alarms, directly connected to local law enforcement, in every classroom in the state by July 2015.

Even without those elements, Holloway said, the bill is the most comprehensive effort nationwide to boost school security in the wake of the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 first-graders and six faculty members dead.


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  • Krimson Apr 29, 2013

    Watch the State GOP make the local School Boards comply with the law and use their local budgets to do so... More money taken away from educating your kids, and instead sent to kiddie-prisons, complete with armed guards...

  • thesituation44 Apr 28, 2013

    I am a father and I can't believe that money is the issue for school safety. I researched many sites after the Sandy Hook night mare and found several good sites that provide a real secure solution. One of them being Scholastic Security. They have web site and their solution is solid. Parents and teachers want something, but it has to be something concrete and not by appeasing parents and make them go away from school safety issues.

  • Mustange Apr 26, 2013

    ("Train and arm the teachers." NO WAY! I work in a school and I would NEVER feel comfortable knowing there were guns in the school. You know, teachers get stressed out too....too easy for kids to get the guns. Dumb idea!)Let me tell you if a gunman approached you and you new thats it its all over you would be glad you had one and learned how to handle one so more im scared bull. If some one has to depend on someone else to protect thim in these days your just another victim of big government.

  • Mustange Apr 26, 2013

    ("So let's make it legal to carry on our college campuses! ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!") wonder how the nc state student would have felt if she had a CCW when her attacker threw her in the bushes i dont think she would have had any problem with using a weapon to defend herself BUT big government says she cant do it we will do it for you yea right another victim and statistic

  • jpd9930 Apr 26, 2013

    "gun manufacturers - who "are people too", won't let 90% of the public have reasonable background checks on weapons? Thanks." Gork

    the 90% was an out right lie. No way 90% of the sided with expanded background check...the gun manufactures (are people too) had nothing to do with defeat of the bills. It was majority of We the People those Congressman listened too. Face it additional restrictions on firearms is not wanted by the majority of public

  • Bob3425 Apr 26, 2013

    tracmister absolutely right, Discipline is the key. However, it also need to start at the home, parent don't need to be cool they need to be parents.

  • torchhappysean Apr 26, 2013

    Still no armed guards I see.. I wonder how safe our state congressmen and women would feel if they didn't have the Capitol police there?? Probably the same way our children feel in schools now...

  • tracmister Apr 26, 2013

    Until schools hands are freed up a bit to deal with constant discipline problems with an expansion of alternative schools; the situation and danger will remain the same. You can't put out a fire by spraying the top of the flames and you can't stop the violence in schools without addressing the causes which is failed discipline due to schools hands being tied by restrictive laws.

  • jpd9930 Apr 26, 2013

    "So spending time and money to pass legislation you have no intention of allowing to succeed is somehow better?"

    Just like the feds.

  • jpd9930 Apr 26, 2013

    lets wait and see what happens in the senate