Committee

Education; Appropriations

Author

Manly Barton

Session

2024 Session

Amended by Senate; awaiting concurrence by House

Latest Action


On April 10, the Senate passed HB 1379 as amended by the Senate Education Committee.

Explanation of the Bill


As amended by the Senate Education Committee, House Bill 1379 would create the Students Safe at School Act. This Act would create a task force studying school safety and establish the School Emergency Response Mapping Data Grant Program. Its purpose would be to improve school safety throughout the state. 

HB 1379 currently includes a reverse repealer. This ensures that the bill must be amended before becoming law and signals that there may be additional changes to the bill.

Mississippi School Safety Task Force

HB 1379 would create the Mississippi School Safety Task Force. The purpose of this task force would be to study how to ensure safe school environments and implement best safety practices. 

The task force would include 13 members: 

  • The State Superintendent of Education (who would serve as the chairman);
  • The Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety;
  • The Executive Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency;
  • The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health;
  • The Director of the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security;
  • The Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics;
  • The Director of the Mississippi Highway Patrol;
  • A representative of the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents;
  • A representative of the Mississippi School Administrators Association;
  • A representative of the Mississippi Association of School Resource Officers;
  • A representative of the Mississippi Sheriffs’ Association
  • A representative of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police; and
  • An individual who provides security and safety services to a school district.

The task force would be required to hold its first meeting within 60 days of this Act taking effect. 

It would be required to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House and the Chairmen of the Education Committees by December 1 of each year. 

Mississippi Behavioral Threat Assessment Management System

HB 1379 would require the Mississippi Department of Education to work with the School Safety Task Force to develop policies and procedures to implement and ensure compliance with the Mississippi Behavioral Threat Assessment Management System (MBTAMS). The bill does not go into detail about the MBTAMS, and there is little outside information available about this system. In general, however, a behavioral threat assessment management system is a fact-based, systemic method to “ “identify, assess, and manage potentially dangerous or violent situations.”

School Emergency Response Mapping Data Grant Program

HB 1379 would create the School Emergency Response Mapping Data Grant Program within the Office of the Attorney General. The purpose of this program would be to establish a single, verified source of mapping data for each school that is accessible to public safety agencies and ensures efficient responses to emergencies on school property. Under the program, schools could apply to receive funds to provide school mapping data. The State Attorney General would be responsible for creating rules and regulations to carry out the program. The bill does not include information about the source of funding. 

DateDetails
3/13/24On March 13, the House amended and passed HB 1379.
4/2/24On April 2, the Senate Education Committee passed a strike-all amendment for HB 1379. The strike-all amendment removes many of the provisions from the version of the bill that was passed by the House. It also contains a reverse repealer.
4/10/24On April 9, the Senate passed HB 1696 as amended by the Senate Education Committee.