Governor signs school safety bill into law

    Governor signs school safety bill into law

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WBFF) - A bill to improve safety in Maryland classrooms has been signed into law.

    On Monday, Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law the Maryland Safe to Learn Act, also known as Senate Bill 1265.

    The governor’s office called it a "landmark school safety package."

    The legislation requires districts provide police coverage or a school resource officer to each high school.

    It also includes key provisions from Hogan’s Safe Schools Act of 2018, including increased funding for the Maryland Center for School Safety, requirements for the standardized training and certification for all school resource offices, and requirements for each school system to develop behavioral assessment teams to identify and provide interventions for students who may pose a threat to safety.

    "No mom or dad should ever have to worry when they send their kids off to school whether their son or daughter is going to come home safely," said Hogan. "I want to thank legislators on both sides of the aisle for coming together and working with us to make our schools safer."

    FOX45 reached out to districts for comment.

    Anne Arundel County Public Schools said it already has plans in place to double officers in middle and high schools over the next two years.

    According to spokesperson Bob Mosier, the district is working with police to come up with a plan for elementary schools.

    In Carroll County, the district said it is working with the sheriff's office, including deputy coverage in all high schools.

    Howard County Public Schools said it has SROs in all of the high schools and some middle schools. The district is also working on a multi-year plan to expand the SRO program to all middle schools and said it would be examining the bill more closely ensure all rules are followed.

    Harford County School is also expanding its school resource officer program and adding security cameras and other safety equipment.

    Baltimore City and County schools had not yet commented at the time of this article.

    The president of Baltimore City Public Schools Fraternal Order of Police told FOX45 he believes the legislation should have included the arming of BCPS police officers inside city schools.

    As it stands, officers are not allowed to be armed inside schools, only as students are entering the building for the day, during dismissal and for special events.

    "We're talking about a police force that is trained and certified through the Maryland Police Training Commission to carry weapons, examined BCPS FOP President Clyde Boatwright. "These officers throughout the school day have to secure their guns, their weapons in a safe. That is unfortunate that we're on the wrong side of history as it relates to this change."

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