State Reps. Adam C. Miller (D-Columbus) and Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) recently introduced new legislation titled the School Safety Drill bill to help improve emergency response readiness in school districts across the state.

“With a new academic year upon us, school safety is on the minds of parents and remains a hot-button issue in every state, but especially here in Ohio,” said Kennedy Kent, a former high school principal and longtime teacher. “When students, teachers and staff finally get together after summer break, I believe it is important to review emergency procedures as soon as possible to ease stress and ensure everyone in the facility is on the same page.”

The purpose of this legislation is to help school districts refine and test their emergency procedural plans by requiring a full-fledged rehearsal at the beginning of each school year. Through rehearsal and participation, districts may see a clearer picture of potential gaps in current plans.

For this reason, the bill includes additional provisions to provide funding to help districts improve emergency plans, in hopes of encouraging local communities and regional emergency management agencies to collaborate with schools during the emergency planning process, and to include school districts in all county and emergency regional response exercises.

“The School Safety Drill bill will directly improve communication between school districts and first responders by involving all qualified parties in the emergency procedure rehearsal,” said Miller, a former school board member, teacher and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve JAG Corps with military service in Afghanistan. “The Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) drill used in the military is a proven best practice in helping identify gaps in emergency response planning. I believe school districts need a similar tool to help ensure our students are safe.”

The legislation was introduced yesterday and awaits a committee appointment for further deliberation.

Featured Posts

Ohio House Dems Stand With Ohio Workers, Speak Out Against GOP Anti-worker Bills


Ohio House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) and Democratic House members from across the state today issued statements in support of the Working People’s Day of Action planned for Saturday, February 24 at the Ohio Statehouse. The Ohio march comes on the heels of the introduction of six Republican-sponsored constitutional amendments to implement so-called “right to work” legislation and other workplace restrictions in the Buckeye State. 


Bipartisan Redistricting Reform Clears Last Legislative Hurdle Before Voters Have Final Say In May


Following months of negotiation, the Ohio House today passed Senate Joint Resolution 5, bipartisan legislation that puts a constitutional amendment before voters in May to restrict congressional gerrymandering in the state. 

“After months of negotiation, thousands of Ohioans speaking out, and several false starts, we’re closer to stopping congressional gerrymandering today than we have ever been before. Though imperfect, this latest plan represents one of the most fundamental tenets of our American democracy – compromise,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “We support this plan today, with the hope and expectation that it will help impart that same spirit and guiding principle of cooperation on Washington in the near future.”

Democratic House expressed concerns over several parts of the proposed plan that they see as loopholes that, in extreme cases, could still allow partisan congressional district rigging. Ultimately, most Democrats still supported the final language in the resolution.


House Democrats Celebrate Black History Month


Each February, Black History Month raises awareness about the significant portion of the American story that African Americans have authored. From science and business to literature, the arts and public service, Black History Month highlights the struggles and triumphs of our nation.


Dem Lawmakers Unveil Paid Family Leave Bill


State Reps. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today announced legislation to establish the Ohio Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, which would provide economic stability to working families in times of a medical emergency, when caring for a sick loved one, or welcoming a newborn into the family. While federal law provides some workers the ability to take leave, it does not provide those workers with any guarantees that they will have compensation while on leave.