Changes May Come To New York Schools About School Shootings
New York State lawmakers are hoping for some major changes.
New York lawmakers are pushing a bill that would change active shooter drills across the state.
Bill Aims To Reduce Number Of School Shooting Lockdown Drills In New York State
Right now New York State students can face up to four school shooting lockdown drills each year. Lawmakers are hoping to reduce the number of lockdown drills in schools from four times a year to one.
"We know lockdown drills are marginally effective but create deep trauma," New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes told NBC.
School Shooting Drills Traumatize New York Children
Officials believe the shooting lockdown drills are inefficient and also traumatize students.
By graduation, a New York high school senior may go through 60 school shooting drills.
School Shooting Drills Can Lead To Depression, Stress, Anxiety
A recent study found that lockdown drills increased a child's depression by 39 percent, a 42 percent increase in stress and anxiety and a 23 percent rise in physiological health problems.
New York Senators Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D, 47th Senate District) and Lea Webb (D, 52nd Senate District) sponsored the bill.
Their bill aims to decrease "the frequency of lock-down drills in schools; directs that such drills shall be implemented with a trauma-informed approach; permits parents to opt their children out of such drills," according to the bill's summary.
The bill also hopes to set standard guidelines on how shooting lockdown drills should be conducted statewide, require teacher training, ensure drills are age appropriate and give parents or guardians advanced notice of the drills so they can speak to their children before an annual drill.
The New York State Department of Education released the following statement:
The Department does not comment on pending legislation. It is important for school administrators and leadership teams to always be prepared for any possible incident, but in this time of heightened anxiety related to school safety, it is particularly important to facilitate a safe and calm culture of preparedness, as well as clear communication between law enforcement and school officials. To that end, much of this work is already underway with the ongoing development of guidance and resources to support schools in developing high-quality emergency response plans to inform students on emergency procedures. We are working with national experts to develop best practices for drills that result in students and staff feeling more prepared and not traumatized while maintaining a commitment to preparedness.