Quick Takes

Legislative task force starts review of Kentucky school safety laws

By: - July 18, 2023 5:42 pm

The Kentucky Board of Education approved the first steps for its upcoming education commissioner search, which will include a naming an outside search firm. . (Getty Images)

FRANKFORT — Kentucky lawmakers on Tuesday launched a review of recent laws aimed at making schools safer as a special Task Force on School and Campus Security met for the first time. 

In response to a 2018 school shooting at Marshall County High School, in which two students were killed and more than a dozen injured, the General Assembly passed the School Safety and Resiliency Act in 2019. Gov. Andy Beshear signed the measure into law. 

Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, sponsor of the 2019 act, told lawmakers Monday that 28 other states have adopted part or all of Kentucky’s school safety law. Wise is co-chair of the task force.

Among the law’s provisions was a requirement that  every school have a school resource officer (SRO) and that entrances and classroom doors be secured with specific locking systems.

Other laws, 2020’s Senate Bill 8 and 2022’s House Bill 63, amended the original act. The SRO provision was later changed to require school boards to have at least one officer per campus. 

During the interim, or the time between regular General Assembly sessions, committees and task forces meet to study issues in preparation for drafting and enacting new laws. 

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McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.