School Safety

Bills in this category concern school infrastructure and personnel intended to make schools safe and secure.

HF 2652School Security and Safety: This bill is the legislature’s comprehensive school security and safety proposal. The bill includes sections to address several issues related to school security:  

  • Mobile Panic Alert Systems: Districts can purchase and use a system that coordinates with law enforcement and integrates with local public safety infrastructure to transmit 911 calls.  

  • School buildings must comply with building codes before issuing bonds for athletic facilities. The building codes will increase required school safety measures for new infrastructure.   

  • Each district will be required to do a school safety review, if they have not already.   

  • Each attendance center will be required to have at least one handheld radio that can access first responders.   

  • School Safety and Security Infrastructure Standards Task Force: The Departments of Public Safety, Education, and Homeland Security and Emergency Management will convene a task force with the goal of making recommendations on security standards for schools on things like doors, windows, cameras, and locks. Their recommendations will be used to modify the state building code that will apply to new school construction.   

  • Expanded use of SAVE funds: School districts will be able to use SAVE funds to purchase firearm detection software or technology and pay the ongoing subscription and monitoring fees with SAVE funds. Personnel costs cannot be paid for using SAVE funds.  

  • Use of Professional Development dollars: These funds can be used for trainings required for a school employee to be armed. 

IASB is registered undecided on the bill. We are supportive of many parts of this bill to help school districts ensure their buildings are safe and secure. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 34-13 and passed the House by a vote of 55-35. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law on May 17, 2024. 

HF 2586School Security Grant Program and Arming School Staff: The bill requires school districts with a total enrollment over 8,000 students to employ private security or a school resource officer (SRO) at each 9-12 attendance center. Districts below an enrollment of 8,000 are simply encouraged to employ school security. School boards can vote not to employ school security.    

Additionally, school employees can be issued a permit to carry weapons if they complete a comprehensive firearm safety training course, legal training, emergency medical training and communication training provided by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). DPS will be required to implement annual live scenario training and quarterly live firearm training for school employees that have opted in to carrying a firearm. The bill provides qualified immunity for the employee and the school district from liability for damages due to using reasonable force. It’s important to note that nothing in state or federal law precludes a school board from voting to allow school staff with a valid permit to carry a gun on school premises. The main impediment is the availability of affordable property/casualty insurance to cover those boards who make that decision.  

A Senate amendment removed the school security personnel grant program that would have provided a matching grant for districts employing an SRO or private security. The House concurred with the amendment, so the matching grant is removed.  

IASB is registered undecided on the bill. Although the bill does not change the current procedure that allows a school board to vote to allow armed staff, we would prefer clear language that authorizes a school board to vote to arm staff in the manner outlined in the bill. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 30-14 and passed the House by a vote of 62-36. The bill was signed into law by Governor Reynolds on April 19, 2024. 

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