AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – When 1.7 million Georgia students started the school year last month, the mood was much more somber than it has been in the past, says U.S. Senator from Georgia David Purdue (R).
“Bulletproof backpacks and lockdown drills are now part of our children’s daily routine,” says Purdue. “It is every parent’s worst nightmare.”
As a response, Sen. Perdue has taken bi-partisan action alongside Sen. Doug Jones (D) from Alabama, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to introduce a bill before congress establishing federal funding for an information clearinghouse designed to study best practices for school security and design.
Sen. Perdue and his fellow senators are calling this “The School Safety Clearinghouse Act,” and, hopefully, it will be an answer to the pervading question of whether the nation’s students will be safe each morning when they leave home.
The School Safety Clearinghouse Act takes its inspiration from the redesigned school building in Newtown, CT, that arose from the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Reflecting on this for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Sen. Perdue quoted Jay Brotman, the lead designer of the newly rebuilt Sandy Hook Elementary building.
“A lack of access to quality school-design information” is one of the greatest hurdles keeping local school officials from making informed decisions about safety.
The original Sandy Hook structure was completely demolished 10 months after the December 14, 2012, shooting rampage that took the lives of 20 students and six adult staff members.
By tearing down the brick and mortar walls, the community hoped to eliminate all physical reminders of the horrors their children experienced there and replace it with a model learning environment.
In Perdue’s vision, the school safety clearinghouse “will have zero government mandates attached. It will advocate no political policies. Instead, it will act like a library that state and local officials can use to access the best practices when redesigning schools.”