New York City leaders push to drastically reduce school lockdown drills
Elected officials, advocates and parents gathered outside of P.S. 133 in Park Slope Tuesday morning to push for reform to the state's current policy for lockdown drills.
New York City schools are currently required to carry out four drills a year, but the new proposed bill would reduce the number of trauma-informed drills to one.
The bill is being proposed by State Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon. They have support from groups like Moms Demand Action, New Yorkers against Gun Violence and the New York State American Academy of Pediatricians.
"We have no idea what the effects will be when they're like 15 or 18. So, I just want all of us to urge for this change. Really. Let's stop and pause this until we really have a solution," said Marco Puppo, a parent advocate.
According to officials, the current policy does not provide schools with any guidelines to follow or requirements to include in the drills. They say it's ineffective and they hope this bill would change that.
"All I think about is what these kids are going to have to go through multiple times a year all because we want to tell ourselves we are going to feel safer but we're not going to be safer for it," said Gounardes.
He adds the bill would provide more oversight and direction while also limiting potential mental health impacts that could arise from the drills like anxiety and depression.
Simon says the bill was first proposed last year and made it through the Senate, but stalled in the Assembly which she believes was due to the timing of when the bill was proposed.