October 27, 2020

Mississippi children may soon have active shooter drills as bill moves to Senate

House members are passing a bill meant to make Mississippi schools safer from mass shootings, turning back concerns that active shooter drills could terrorize the schoolchildren they’re meant to protect.

The House voted 114-3 on Wednesday for House Bill 1283, sending it to the Senate for more consideration.

The plan would require safety inspections and twice-yearly active shooter drills at public schools. It would also create a threat-reporting mechanism monitored by three dedicated analysts at the state Department of Public Safety.

A task force convened by Gov. Phil Bryant recommended every school have a school resource officer. State Rep. Mark Baker, a Brandon Republican sponsoring the bill, says he wants to expand a cost-sharing program to encourage that goal.

The legislation excludes a task force recommendation to arm some teachers.