Sununu creates school safety task force
Feb. 26, 2018
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A new task force will spend the next few months trying to develop stronger safety protocols for New Hampshire schools.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu announced the Governor's School Safety Preparedness Taskforce on Monday, a week and a half after 17 people were shot to death at a Florida high school.
The task force will bring together state and local officials, law enforcement and school officials, he said, and will build upon work done in recent years by the state Office of Homeland Security to conduct security assessments in hundreds of schools.
Under a new state law, all schools are required to develop school emergency plans and submit them to the Department of Education. And a new Public School Infrastructure Fund is investing nearly $20 million for schools to make infrastructure and security upgrades.
"We urge schools to be proactive in their communications with parents regarding the safety preparedness steps they are taking," Sununu said in a new release. "At the same time, schools are strongly encouraged to take advantage of state programs being offered including emergency management grants used to enhance communications between schools and first responders and additional resources available to assist with school preparedness exercises. We will not stop until our schools are the safest in the nation. If we can't put our kids on the school bus and know they are safe, nothing else matters."
The chairman of the state Democratic Party criticized Sununu for not also backing gun control measures following the Parkland, Florida, shooting.
"Governor Sununu's inaction on guns is likely due to his A-rating from the NRA and his decision to expand gun rights as governor. Sununu's unshakeable opposition to common sense gun reform is shameful," Chairman Ray Buckley said in a news release. "He can't mask his inaction with a school safety initiative."