A press conference was held Monday at Columbia Junior High School in Fife to highlight the implementation of certain school safety provisions in House Bill 1216. The bill, which received overwhelming bipartisan support during the 2019 legislative session, is focused on making schools safer by providing resources and training surrounding mental health, suicide prevention, and community coordination efforts.
Twenty-Fifth District Reps. Kelly Chambers and Chris Gildon, both R-Puyallup, supported the bill during this year’s session and issued the following statement:
“We fully support the provisions in House Bill 1216 and are committed to doing everything we can as lawmakers to keep students, teachers, school administrators and staff safe.
“There is no doubt we need more mental health and suicide prevention resources in our schools, and the Legislature should be funding these priorities. However, we also know this is an issue that requires a holistic approach. House Republicans have offered proposals on numerous occasions to increase the number of school resource officers (SRO) in our schools. SROs are uniformed and highly trained, making them essential for responding quickly and professionally to threats. We also support efforts to construct schools with secure design principles in mind.
“Working together, there is much we can do to make our schools safer. We applaud the efforts being made through House Bill 1216, and look forward to making further progress on this issue during the 2020 session and beyond.”