Idaho state senator unveils school safety bill

BOISE, Idaho (AP) Armed bus drivers and metal detectors could be part of beefed up security efforts at Idaho's public schools under a bill making its way through the Senate.

The Senate Education Committee introduced a measure Monday requiring school districts work with the local county sheriff to develop school safety plans.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, says the intent is to give districts flexibility to decide and enact the kind of security measure appropriate for their schools and community. The bill does not provide specific options available to schools, but Hagedorn said options for schools could include arming teachers or administrators, posting security officers on school grounds or using metal detectors on buses.

"There are no requirements outlined here, only suggested deterrents," Hagedorn said Monday. "The objective is to have law enforcement and boards of trustees create a security plan to ensure our kids are safe."

The proposal would also require districts to provide annual crisis response training for students and employees. The State Department of Education would also have to establish a secure means for schools to pass along safety-related information to the state.

Security plans developed by schools would be exempt under the Freedom of Information Act and state public records laws, according to the bill.

The bill, one of several weapons-related measures debated by lawmakers Monday, will next be vetted by the Senate State Affairs Committee.