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Governor's school safety task force meets for first time

Staff Report
March 15. 2018 4:58AM

CONCORD — The governor’s School Safety Preparedness Task Force held its inaugural meeting on Wednesday, the day students across New Hampshire and the nation held walkouts to remember the victims of last month’s deadly school shooting in Florida.

In a letter to task force members, Gov. Chris Sununu asked the task force to spend the next 60 to 90 days coming up with additional steps “to ensure New Hampshire’s schools are the safest they can be.”

Sununu outlined some ideas for the group to explore, including:

• Participation of local school districts in early-warning systems

• Increasing access to youth mental health services

• Funding additional investment in school security and safety infrastructure

• Allocating staff to review school safety plans

• Researching “violent threat restraining orders” and “extreme risk protection order systems”

• Strengthening background checks

• Voluntary “well-trained” school marshal programs, and

• Training opportunities for schools, including annual statewide safety workshops.

Sununu noted the state’s new public school infrastructure fund is investing nearly $20 million in state funding in communities for “long overdue” infrastructure and security upgrades.

“We must challenge ourselves to do more and truly be the gold standard of school safety for the entire country,” he wrote.

The task force plans to meet every three weeks.

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