FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 25, 2023
ATLANTA |Today, Lt. Governor Burt Jones, Senator Max Burns (R – Sylvania), and Senator Clint Dixon (R – Gwinnett) announced a 2024 legislative priority to increase school safety.
“One of the most critical duties we have as public servants is to protect those who are most vulnerable – including all of Georgia’s children,” said Lt. Governor Burt Jones. “This legislation and associated state funding will ensure that our school systems and teachers have the necessary resources and training to increase safety across Georgia. Systems and individuals will have the option of participating in the training, certification and stipend, and we hope that the General Assembly will support these efforts to build on recent school safety reforms.”
“The safety of our school children and their classrooms is our first responsibility,” said Senator Burns. “This legislation provides another tool to enhance school safety. Using existing, volunteer employees, we can leverage the current use of School Resource Officers (SRO’s) and make our schools more safe and secure. I’d like to thank Lieutenant Governor Jones and Chairman Dixon for their leadership and support of this initiative.”
"Protecting Georgia students and schools has been and remains a top priority,” said Senator Dixon. “I am proud of the investments and reforms we have made in improving school security in recent years, and I am now excited to join this effort to further strengthen school safety. With this legislation, we will make sure our teachers are more equipped to handle security threats, our schools are even more prepared for emergency situations, and we will expand grant programs to allow schools to hire additional security personnel. Adhering to our principles, this legislation will maintain local decision making and will not come with any unfunded mandates. I look forward to working hard to pass this legislation to make sure our students remain safe in school and can remain focused on learning."
The proposed legislation, to be introduced during the 2024 Legislative Session, would build on the reforms the General Assembly has made in recent years around safety training for teachers, school safety plans, and the ability of local school systems to determine for themselves whether teachers should be permitted to carry firearms as a safety measure on campus. The proposed program would be an opt-in measure by the teachers and school system.