How proposed NC legislation aims to make schools a safer place

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NORTH CAROLINA (WWAY) — Two new bills in the General Assembly aim to make every North Carolina school safer.

A day after the Parkland shooting last year, Representative Frank Iler told us he wanted to push for more school resource officers and better mental health services for students.

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Now, the Brunswick County Republican is supporting bills that would help those goals.

“We’re below the national average as far as counselors and psychologists in the schools,” said Iler. “We need to get closer to that national average, if not up to that.”

Iler and the House Select Committee on School Safety pushed for new legislation right after the Parkland school shooting.

A little more than a year later, two house bills have just been filed.

“One bill is very supportive financially of school resources officers, the training for school resource officers and supporting the local law enforcement and sheriff’s departments when they put resource officers into schools,” said Iler.

He says this first bill targets short term safety. Iler says they want to have a resource officer in every school, especially in the large or poor counties.

He says the bill would need around $60 million in state funding.

Iler says the second bill targets long term safety.

“We’re just trying to get more professionals in there to make assessments of the individual students,” he said.

Iler says this bill would also encourage schools to make sure each door is locked or guarded.

These two bills go hand in hand. Iler wants to see these changes in every school.

“The need I saw from the counties, they are not as lucky as we are in Brunswick,” he said.

Iler says Brunswick County currently has a school resource officer in every school. He says he hopes to make this consistent across the state.