Jaques Bills Would Improve School Safety for Current and Future Public Schools

DOVER – Legislation aimed at making Delaware’s public schools safer by requiring new door locks for all schools and mandating various safety features for new public schools was introduced Wednesday.

Sponsored by Rep. Earl G. Jaques, House Bill 14 would require that any door to a classroom must have a lock that can be locked from either side of the door. A previous version of the bill stalled in committee last session. House Bill 13 would require all new school construction or major renovation to include the following features: an intruder alarm, bulletproof glass in entrance areas and interior doors and windows, and doors lockable with keys on both sides.

“The issue of school safety is one we cannot forget. While providing a quality education is our top priority for schoolchildren, we also have to make sure they are safe in their learning environment,” said Rep. Jaques, D-Glasgow. “These measures are not cure-alls, but they will help provide just a little more safety, security and peace of mind for teachers, students and their parents.”

HB 13 also would require all new school construction plans to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget’s Facilities Management Section for compliance with these requirements. A previous version of this bill cleared the House unanimously last year.

Both bills have been assigned to the House Education Committee, which Rep. Jaques chairs.