Panel nixes school safety measure

Democratic state lawmakers voted Thursday to silence a Grand Junction Republican’s efforts to bring the “drill, baby, drill” approach to Colorado schools.

The House Education Committee, in a 9-4 vote, struck down a bill from Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, that would have required schools, kindergarten through college, to develop and practice emergency drills at least twice a year.

Rep. Mike Merrifield, D-Manitou Springs, said King’s bill has the right intentions — student safety — but took the wrong approach.

Rep. Ken Summers, R-Lakewood, said he could not support the bill because the colleges themselves should be in charge of developing their own emergency drills and safety standards.

The vote, to King’s dismay, came after he pleaded with his colleagues to support his bill as a way to protect students in emergency situations.

“Our goal should be that we give them a plan so they can say, ‘I’m not going to walk quietly into the night here. I’m going to have a plan and have a fighting chance,’ ” King said.


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