MD State Senator Roy Dyson's effort to make all of Maryland's schools safer was signed into law on Tuesday by Governor Robert Ehrlich, Jr.
Senator Dyson (D) introduced Senate Bill 146 - Task Force on School Safety - for the second time this year after being approached by Southern Maryland teachers, parents and community advocates who were concerned about the school safety issue. Last year, the bill sailed through the Senate, but died in the House. However, with strong support from the State Department of Education and numerous advocates, teachers and other schools support staff, the bill easily passed in both chambers of the General Assembly this year.
The Safe Schools Task Force will be comprised of a blue ribbon panel commission of experts ranging from teachers, administrators, school bus drivers, the State Department of Education, a representative of Maryland's private schools and many others concerned about the safety of children and those who work in and for Maryland's public and private schools.
"Maryland school children, teachers, administrators, coaches, support staff and parents need assurances that our schools are safe," Senator Dyson said. "I am pleased that Governor Ehrlich supports this very important piece of legislation by signing it."
Senator Dyson added that he believes the collection of experts will produce "outstanding legislation" that we can consider and pass in future General Assembly Sessions," Senator Dyson said.
Most task forces work towards producing a substantial bill or several bills dealing with the topic they are brought together to address, Senator Dyson said.
"We'll work fast to get these members on board and get working on this important matter," Senator Dyson said. "I have heard from numerous teachers and others who work in our schools, from bus drivers and students that safety is a problem that is not adequately addressed in our schools. This task force will listen to the people on the front line. Many members of the task force will include those who deal with this issue on a day-to day basis so their institutional knowledge will be invaluable."