New bill could cut number of safety drills for Kansas students

Local

Some lawmakers say the number of drills students have to go through during the school year is too much.

But a new bill would cut the number of drills nearly in half.

Right now, students are required to have at least 16 drills for the 2018-2019 school year. 

It the bill passes, that number would change to nine. 

“Changes the crisis drills from nine per school year to three per school year,” said Sen. Molly Baumgardner, the chairman of the Kansas Senate education committee. “Tornado drills will be two times per school year and then four fire drills.”

But, some parents aren’t happy about it. 

“I think lowering it to nine, I think the way schools are now, that may be too little,” said parent Aaron Howell.

“Anything with repetition you’re going to remember it more often,” said Brian Leyva, a parent. 

Wichita Public Schools Safety Director Terri Moses says nine drills may be the best option. 

“We think there’s a happy middle ground,” she said. “We would like to see a drill a month, as the easiest way to keep track of how many drills you’ve done, and making sure you’re doing one each month.”

Baumgardner says 16 drills a year can get in the way of learning. 

“Districts found that that was really excessive, particularly now that we have so many snow days,” she said. “But, they found it to be pretty disruptive.”

Some parents say there are ways to work around that. 

“As far as taking time out of class, make it during one day, during recess or something like that,” said Howell.

The Kansas Senate will be voting on the bill Wednesday morning. 

If it passes, then it heads to the Kansas House before going to the governor’s desk.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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