More funding to DE schools could put more safety projects into motion with the help of legislation

DELAWARE- A bill recently introduced this month would create the Omnibus School Safety Fund to provide money to public and charter schools for certain safety projects. This includes bullet resistant glass, screening of individuals, key card entry and exit installation at doors, and more.

“We are kind of putting our money where our mouth is,”  Delaware Senator Brian Pettyjohn said. “We are saying school safety is important let’s put the financial resources in place to ensure that Delaware schools are safe.”

“We don’t want them to be prisons, we don’t want to see a campus with barbed wires to keep people out, but at the same time we want them to be welcoming, warm, welcoming places that are going to be conducive to learning; at the same time keeping our children safe,” Sen. Pettyjohn said.

This bill is something that Delaware parent, Meedra Suratte, is in favor of, especially with recent tragedies of school shootings. She is a mother of three, and two of them are enrolled in the public school system.

“I also think sadly it’s indicative of the times that we are living in,” Suratte said. “So, as a society we need to be responsive to what we are seeing right now, responsive and proactive in terms of supporting our children.”

Sen. Pettyjohn says he agrees that with the right mix of technology and common sense of solutions it could help keep schools safe.

“Our schools should be somewhere that is safe, it should be a sanctuary for our children that is they don’t fear that somebody is going to come in and do them harm,” Sen. Pettyjohn said.

While Meedra says school districts could benefit from more funding coming their way through this bill, she does have concerns on the impacts that changes from the legislation could bring.

“There are facilities where it’s an open door policy and now students are being frisked and their bags are being searched, and again well intentioned but that also impacts the culture and the climate in the building and it impacts the overall experience,” Suratte said.

Suratte is the Executive Director of a non-profit called Parent Information Center of Delaware, which provides support for youth and families. She told 47ABC in times like this it’s important to work together, so if the organization can be a help in any way on this topic they are more than happy to.

To learn more about the bill, click here.

Categories: Delaware, Local News