MS legislature requires all school districts to conduct active shooter drill

MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Now that school is open, there are new rules and safety precautions for students and staff to follow.

Lawmakers recently passed a bill requiring schools to have active shooter drills.

House Bill 1283 requires students and staff to have an action plan. Mass shootings have become too common and hard to talk about, but having a solid plan could save your life.

It seems like every school year there are new codes, policies, and drills.

This year, Mississippi legislators enforced “Mississippi School Safety Act of 2019”, which requires all Mississippi schools to conduct an active shooter drill.

Superintendent of Monroe County School District Brian Jernigan said the school safety is a topic that grows every year.

“It’s increasingly receiving more and more attention because of the violence we are seeing. The active shooting that’s taken place, it’s important that we do all we can do to ensure that our students and staff are safe as possible,” said  Jernigan.

School principals are responsible to develop and run the drill within the first 60 days of each new semester, including all students, teachers, and faculty.

“It is a very emotional time. It’s a time where people are on edge because you don’t always have the clear indicators of who may be a target or when you may be a target,” said Jernigan.

Jernigan said having this new drill in place will hopefully make people on school campuses pay attention to their surroundings and know a plan of action.

” These types of events continue to surface and take place. It just heightens that awareness and makes us really think what can we do,” said Jernigan.

Jernigan said it’s heartbreaking to live in today’s world knowing such a traumatic experience could happen anywhere at any time.

“When I was going to school many many years ago this was really not an issue. Things have changed so much from the time of what a daily school business used to be is no longer there,” said Jernigan.

As the school days pan out, Jernigan wants to make sure all students, staff, and faculty are prepared for the worst.

“It’s very important that we respond to the culture of the times,” said Jernigan.

House Bill 1283 also includes school employees to complete training or professional development course in mental health every two years.

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