Report: Almost all Kentucky schools are following safety law

Tasers and guns have already made their way onto local school campuses. It brings up the question, how safe are schools in Kentucky?
Published: Sep. 3, 2022 at 10:01 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Tasers and guns have already made their way onto local school campuses. It brings up the question, how safe are schools in Kentucky?

We now have a better idea of what the answer is.

The State Safety Risk Assessment Report was released this week.

There are 173 school districts in Kentucky.

This new report says nearly every single school in those districts are following the School Safety and Resiliency Act.

An act signed into law in 2019 and created several safety requirements schools have to follow.

Those requirements include plans for severe weather, critical incidents, having locked doors, and mental health help for students.

The report released on Thursday looked at the last school year.

“This report is going to show the numbers are good, schools are in compliance, and that everyone involved towards a safer Kentucky,” said Ben Wilcox, State School Security Marshal.

Wilcox says the report found more than 99% of Kentucky schools are in line with the requirements.

“Now obviously we’re always in pushing for 100% compliance. We have to have 100%. But having 99.53% is very, very good,” Wilcox said.

In April, Governor Beshear signed a bill requiring every school to have a school resource officer by August 1, if possible.

The report found 55% of Kentucky schools don’t have a resource officer.

That includes JCPS, which has their own security plan.

“We need to work towards having an SRO by law on every campus in the state of Kentucky, and continue to work towards that ratio of one counselor or mental health professional for every 250 students,” Wilcox said.

The governor also signed into law a bill that allows districts to excuse absences for mental or behavioral health reasons.

“We can lock all our doors, we can check people into the front desk, but we’ve got to have relationships in our schools. We have to have mental health assistance for our kids and our staff.,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox says it’s important for schools to always update their emergency plans...so that if there is an incident at the school, everyone already knows what to do.

You can read the full report here.