Rhode Island

In 2018, the Police Foundation staff conducted a comprehensive public domain scan of state legislation from all 50 states and the District of Columbia related to the following aspects of school safety and security:

  • facility security and assessment requirements;
  • creation, and identification of roles and responsibilities for state school safety centers and school safety teams/committees;
  • requirements for school administrators and faculty;
  • allocation of funds for improving school safety and security; and
  • all-hazards emergency planning and preparedness.

The Police Foundation also reviewed legislation and amendments passed by state legislatures and signed into law following the mass violence attacks at schools in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas. Seven states—Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island—officially codified new significant school safety and security laws that address at least one of the aspects mentioned above. The legislative review utilized open source research, and encompasses all legislation that was officially codified by September 11, 2018.

The highlighted states on the map represent examples of states with comprehensive school safety legislation and promising practices.

 

PROMISING PRACTICES

  • Establishes the Rhode Island School Safety Committee to: provide training to law enforcement, school administrators, and teachers; collect and review all hazard safety and security assessments; and, offer recommendations and technical assistance to increase student and faculty safety
  • Establishes that the committee must be comprised of 12 members including: the Rhode Island State Police superintendent or designee; president of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association or designee; director of the Rhode Island emergency management agency or designee; commissioner of the department of elementary and secondary education or designee; a representative from the Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association; director of the department of behavioral healthcare, development disabilities and hospitals or designee; a representative from the Rhode Island Association of School Maintenance Directors; a representative from the Rhode Island Association of School Principals; a representative from the Rhode Island Association of School Committees; a representative from the National Education Association of Rhode Island who is a full-time classroom teacher; and, a representative from the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals who is a full-time classroom teacher
  • Requires every school to complete an emergency action plan and submit an all hazards site safety survey report every three years for the committee to review and make necessary recommendations
  • Requires each school to conduct a school safety assessment in conjunction with police, fire, the school safety team, and any other experts deemed necessary every three years.
  • Requires each school to have a comprehensive school safety plan regarding crisis intervention, emergency response, and management that is developed by a team comprised of representatives from the school, students, teachers, parent organizations, school safety personnel, administration, and local emergency services.
  • Requires the school crisis response team to have school personnel willing to serve as members of a psychological response team to address the needs of the school community in the event of an incident.
  • Requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to collaborate with the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, State Police, State Fire Marshal, Department of Behavioral Heath, and other officials to develop a model school safety plan to be consulted by local school safety teams. The plan must be based on best practices.
  • Requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop and disseminate resources that school districts can use and, at least annually, assess the strengths and weaknesses of school safety.
  • Requires each school to have a school safety plan that includes: prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and intervention strategies based on best practices identified in the state model plan; formalized arrangements with state and local law enforcement and fire officials regarding training; policies and procedures regarding building security and annual school safety training, responding to violence, contacting appropriate authorities, and communicating and disseminating information.
  • Requires each school to conduct one emergency egress drill every month the facility is in session and one additional drill in buildings that are not open year-round. At least one out of every four drills must include the obstruction of at least one or more exits and stairways in the building. There must also be two evacuation drills and two lockdown drills (one in September and one in January).
  • Requires the plan to be reviewed at least annually, by November 1, and to include policies and procedures for annual training of staff and students.

State Of Rhode Island

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