School Violence Prevention in Iowa

The Iowa Senate will take up a bill requiring all school districts to work with local law enforcement and emergency personnel to develop safety plans for an active shooter situation. The bill advanced out of committee the day after a deadly school shooting in Florida last week.

Manson Northwest Webster Community School District Superintendent Justin Daggett says his district has a protocol ready.

"It is something that we are trained and prepared for and we pray to God that we never have to do it," Daggett says.

He also says that he is unaware of any Iowa district that has not already developed a plan.

"Because of the recent events, not just this year but even the last few years, all school districts I think are forced to be prepared for that," Daggett says.

Daggett says safety of students and staff is his top priority and all district teachers receive annual training on the safety plan.

The shooting in Florida took seventeen lives, and it is the eighth shooting to have resulted in death or injury during the first seven weeks of the year. Survivors of last week's Florida high school massacre have announced a march on Washington and other major U.S. cities next month to demand tangible action so to prevent future school shootings.

Daggett joins River to River host Ben Kieffer and IPR statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell during this legislative day conversation. Iowa State Representatives Sharon Steckman and Walt Rogers, and school advocate and lobbyist Margaret Buckton also join the discussion.

During this program, they also talk about how a change in state funds to cover transportation costs especially for rural districts, and they talk about a bill that will not move forward relating to school vouchers.