Ky. House committee forwards bill clearing up law requiring school resource officers
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky lawmakers met Tuesday morning to discuss a bill that would clear up a law requiring each school to have a school resource officer.
House Bill 63 will essentially just amend a portion of the School Safety Resiliency Act that was passed during the 2020 General Assembly. The bill did cause quite a stir and quite a bit of debate during the House Standing Committee on Education meeting.
The bill was brought to the committee by Republican Representative Kevin Bratcher from Jefferson County. He says that this bill will do two things: first, it will define that a school safety officer has to be physically at the campus their assigned to. Second, it will close a loophole that allowed for exceptions based on lack of personnel and funding.
“[It] will have the district informing the school safety marshal of the problem that a school is having that cannot fulfill the intentions of Senate Bill 1, and a plan can be devised to make it happen,” said Rep. Bratcher.
A handful of representatives voiced opposition to the bill, citing concerns about local control, possible funding for school resource officers and even implementation across districts.
However, the concerns from constituents hit at more fundamental concerns about officers in schools.
“You can build relationships and build trust. You don’t have to have a weapon to do that,” said Sadiqa Reynolds, Louisville Urban League President and CEO.
“And if you listen to the voices of the kids who have been through recent school shootings, recent ones, those students have been screaming out for different types of changes and reforms for what happens to them in schools but none of them are screaming for SROs,” said Lyndon Pryor.
The bill did pass through the committee morning with all but three representatives voting yes.
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