Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Washington Lawmakers Consider Mandatory Panic Alarms In Schools

OLYMPIA, Wash. –Every school in Washington would be equipped with panic alarms by the end of 2014 under a bill under consideration in Olympia. Monday, the Washington Senate will hear a bill focused on upping security at schools across the state.

The system would work exactly as it does in banks across the country. An alarm button would give school administrators a direct line to local police. Installation of these alarms in all schools would cost an estimated $5.5 million.

In a hearing last week, state Sen. Bruce Dammeier said updating construction requirements is one way to prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

“We’re trying to get law enforcement there a little bit quicker and make it a little bit harder for somebody who wants to do evil to our children from getting to them.”

Under Dammeier’s bill, new school construction in Washington would have to focus on limiting access to classrooms. This includes fewer doors leading directly inside and more eyes watching who enters the school grounds.

On the Web:

SB 5197: Safe school buildings bill - Washington Legislature