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Keeping KY Kids Safe Part I: A bill to protect KY children

Jennifer Moonsong

Regional Editor

Jobe Publishing, Inc.


At the brink of summer, a gruesome school shooting in Uvalde, Texas captured the attention of the world. In the aftermath, there are more questions than answers. The number one question being asked by parents and students alike is: “How did this happen?”

The tragedy has many states, including Kentucky, recalibrating and expanding safety measures.

Last week, Kentucky House Bill 63 was passed. It was not, however, the first attempt.

The passing of House Bill 63 requires a school resource officer (SRO) on every campus by August 1, 2022. The bill follows up the School Safety and Resiliency Act passed during the 2020 General Assembly.

At the end of the 2021-2022 school year, 57% of Kentucky Schools do not have assigned SROs.

Although many lawmakers have been in support of implementing this bill, there were questions about how it will be done. The financial feasibility and finding qualified applicants are among the top concerns.

School districts that are unable to fund the presence of SROs on each campus will have to work with the state school security marshal.

As for South Central Kentucky, most schools have a resource officer or officers, but each school system has handled the need differently.

The term School Resource Officer is designated only for the police officers who have been through the DOCJT (minimum 40 hours) in service. At this juncture, although the term is specific, every officer within the school system may or may not have the training.

Next week, we will explore the way various local school systems are already handling this need.

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