A contentious debate among New York state lawmakers and parents on the frequency of school lockdown drills has spurred proposed legislation that would cut the mandated drills from four to one annually.
Proponents, including the bill’s sponsors, Assemblymember Jo Ann Simon and state Senator Andrew Gounardes, argue that the current number of drills may cause undue anxiety and trauma for students.
Psychologists like Dr. Monique Winnett from St. Joseph’s Health suggest that while the intent behind the drills is to maintain safety, there is a psychological toll on both students and educators.
The bill, which passed the state senate in June but hit a roadblock in the assembly, includes provisions for parental notification and the option for children to opt out.
As the New York State Education Department continues its research, state lawmakers are not scheduled to reconvene until January, delaying further action on the legislation.
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