School Threat Reporting Bill Stirs In Mass. Senate

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Senate could in the coming days take up a freshly rewritten bill to create a statewide program for the anonymous reporting of threats to or dangerous activity at schools and to require schools to establish school-based threat assessment teams.

The bill (S 2747, redrafted by Senate Ways and Means), would also have the the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education develop a model threat assessment policy for schools serving students in grades 6 through 12, and would instruct various arms of state government to work together to "compile a database of the primary point of contact within each law enforcement department and school," according to a Senate summary.

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The bill initially emerged from the Committee on Education as a compilation of three bills, and has not been acted upon by either branch. It got a favorable report Friday morning from Senate Ways and Means with 13 senators in favor, none opposed, one (Sen. Ryan Fattman) reserving his rights, and three (Sens. Michael Brady, Patricia Jehlen and Patrick O'Connor) not weighing in.

The bill's statewide anonymous reporting program is meant to allow "any person to anonymously report unsafe, harmful, dangerous, life-threatening, violent or unlawful activity that occurs or is threatened on school property that relates to an enrolled student or school personnel," according to the Senate's summary. It would be up to the secretary of health and human services to create the necessary regulations for the program in conjunction with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the attorney general's office, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Friday morning also advanced bills dealing with easements in Canton (H 4250), land in Pepperell (H 4794) and easements in Hubbardston (S 2064).

Written by Colin Young/SHNS.

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