State Task Force Calls For School Shooting Drills

A state task force says every Massachusetts school should practice responding
to school shootings and threats.

The report from the Massachusetts Task Force on School Safety and Security also recommends each school have its own crisis response team, as well as an emergency kit in each classroom.

"For an effective response, before incidents occur, emergency procedures need to be developed through several cycles of plan, practice, and review," the report says.

The report also calls for funding for active shooter training and for exercises for first responders.

"Live training should take place in school settings (when students are not present) at the request of police," the report says.

Smartphones may also be useful in emergency situations, the report suggests.

"The school cannot always depend on the school's public address or internal phone system," it says. "Schools may want to consider ways to use smart phone technology, including voice, text, and video streaming."

Gov. Deval Patrick announced a $200,000 program Thursday to help schools implement some of the recommendations.

"The steps we are taking today will help school districts build or enhance safety plans that work for them," Patrick said in a statement. "We are fortunate to live in a state where everyone recognizes the value in working together on this issue."

This article was originally published on July 17, 2014.