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Abbeville Lawmaker Inspired By Sandy Hook Tragedy To Further Protect La. Students

Rep. Bob Hensgens
Rep. Bob Hensgens

Representative Bob Hensgens of Abbeville has pre-filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would require schools to rehearse their emergency response plans and “active shooter” drills. The legislation will also require coordination between schools and public safety officials.

“After the tragedy in Sandy Hook, you start to wonder if we are doing everything we can to keep our educators safe,” says Hensgens. “We just want to make sure we are doing everything we can in the state to keep not only our children but our educators safe.”

Hensgens says it’s already law for schools to have emergency plans. But his bill, House Bill number 79, targets schools rehearsing their plans, requiring them to do so early in the year, find the flaws in the plan and then make revisions to it early during the school season. Also, Hensgens wants the “live shooter” drill to be done within 30 days of the start of the school year, so that any parts of the drill that need to be fixed will be done so early on.

Hensgens believes coordination between school administrators and local public safety officials is important, because in case of an emergency, first responders can react quicker to any situation. “We just want them to know and the local law enforcement to know when a school says ‘we got something going on in the cafeteria’ they already know where the cafeteria is,” says Hensgens. “We want them in on the plan.”

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