Kent State Representative Brian Ohler has been working over the last 5 years to help create and assess school safety and security policies and procedures. He and three other lawmakers have now formed a work group that will focus on school security and safety.
The group will evaluate the implementation of measures mandated by the state following the shooting at Sandy Hook School, and create new recommendations going forward. He is concerned that when money becomes tight, safety-related initiatives take a back seat.
Ohler, a school safety consultant, is a U.S. Army Military Police Veteran. The school district represented by Carol Hall, Education Committee member from Enfield, was a blue-ribbon recipient for its approach to school safety. The district represented by Wilton Rep. Gail Lavielle, Ranking Member of the Education Committee, includes Westport which was the site of a recent school security threat. Rep. JP Sredzinski of Monroe, is a ranking member of the Public Safety and Security Committee.
The work group will also measure school districts’ knowledge of legislation, the availability of school-based mental health professionals, parents’ knowledge and understanding of their district’s security measures, and local educators’ view of the effectiveness of legislation and related programs.
An initial meeting date will be announced in the coming days.