After Newtown, Schools Across the Country Crack Down on Security


Belluscio also said there was a strong interest in having video surveillance, and adhesive placed over the windows of school buildings, which can help block bullets. Nearly 200 schools had incorporated security video surveillance through March 2013, according to the website of 3M Safety and Security Films.

Belluscio could not provide a dollar figure on the amount of money New Jersey schools had invested in security since Newtown, and calls to the New Jersey Department of Education's Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning went unreturned.

The fight for tighter security has also made its way into state legislatures, with hundreds of bills, including proposals to increase police presence, update emergency plans, arm school employees and provide counseling. More than 450 school-security bills had been introduced in statehouses across the country as of May 23, according to an analysis by Education Week.

"There is no doubt that since the tragedy of Newtown, there is a heightened sense of need to improve school safety measures," California Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, an advocate of tightening school security measures, told ABC News.

Connecticut, the state most personally affected by Newtown, is putting in place a policy to increase security measures in all Connecticut schools. Gov. Dan Malloy announced in May that Connecticut would be distributing $5 million to schools for additional security measures. All public schools were eligible for funding, and the money will be used to reimburse schools that upgrade their security measures.

Scott Devico, a legislative program manager at Connecticut's Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, which is handling the initiative, said 111 of Connecticut's 160 school districts had requested funding as of the application deadline on July 29. The funds is being made available under the Competitive Grant Program, which is part of the Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety Act signed last April.

Not all states, however, have had Connecticut's legislative success. Of those 450 bills that have been introduced nationwide, only 57 have become laws, according to data from Education Week.

In California, for example Olsen's bill to authorize the use of panic buttons in the state's schools did not make it out of the appropriations committee. Olsen said that while she has noticed much more attention given to school safety in the state legislature since Newtown, it has been difficult to implement a statewide comprehensive strategy,

"It is difficult at the state level because all school campuses are different," Olsen told ABC News. "A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't fit well."

One Chicago School May Have Found the Answer: Inside Their Extraordinary Security Measures

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