Delaware Governor OKs Bill Accelerating School Safety Compliance Requirements
House Bill 340 amends the Omnibus School Safety Act that previously said schools and districts must be in compliance with the Act’s provisions by the fall of 2017.
DOVER, Del. – Delaware Gov. Jack Markell on Wednesday signed legislation that requires schools to have a comprehensive and up-to-date emergency plan by this month.
House Bill 340 amends the Omnibus School Safety Act that previously said schools and districts must be in compliance with the Act’s provisions by the fall of 2017. It covered preparations for potential emergency situations, ranging from armed intruders to natural disasters.
The governor, however, said that timeframe was too long and pushed for schools to get in compliance with the act sooner than the deadline. Since then, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security has worked with districts to speed up their work. Currently, 78% of schools in Delaware are ahead of schedule and have compliant plans.
Plans must be thorough, coordinated with first responders, tailored to the layout and location of each facility, and compliant with the National Incident Management System, a framework for emergency response developed by the federal government that stresses collaboration with first responders.
In addition to completing the process of accelerating the development of school safety plans, HB 340 provides for school districts to conduct table top exercises annually and at least two lockdown/intruder drills per school year. They must submit verification of the exercises to DSHS.
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