Washington School Safety Chief Reacts

By Austin Jenkins

Washington Governor-elect Jay Inslee says in the days to come he will be listening for ideas on how to prevent the kind of school violence that occurred in Connecticut Friday. Inslee did not indicate if that would include gun control proposals.Mike Donlin heads Washington’s School Safety Center. He says all Washington schools now have safety plans - but normally a visit by the adult child of a teacher would not trigger alarm.

Mike Donlin: “If that’s the kind of situation that’s playing out in Connecticut, we may want to be looking at those kinds of things a little more closely. On a pragmatic level, within a given building, if a staff person has one of those kinds of situations in his or her family, they would very likely let the school staff know if so and so comes in here I don’t want to see that person.”

But Donlin says he’s not aware of any current requirement that school staff make that notification. Washington does have a program that helps crime victims keep secret their home and work addresses. That Confidentiality Program was recently expanded to include certain criminal justice employees who have been the target of threats on the job. But the Secretary of State’s office says school employees do not qualify under that new provision.

On the web:

OSPI School Safety Center: http://www.k12.wa.us/safetycenter/

Address Confidentiality Program: http://sos.wa.gov/acp/aboutus.aspx

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