Meeting Public Comments

Subcommittee meeting and times are as follows:
A bill for an act relating to the establishment and implementation of the safe and sound program within the department of public safety, to participation in or use of the program by schools and students, to immunity from civil or criminal liability arising from a report made pursuant to the program, and to a safe and sound revolving fund, and providing penalties.(See HF 585.)
Subcommittee members: Gobble-CH, Paustian, Steckman
Date: Monday, January 25, 2021
Time: 4:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: House Lounge 2
Names and comments are public records. Remaining information is considered a confidential record.
Comments Submitted:

Tom Chapman [Iowa Catholic Conference]
The Iowa Catholic Conference represents the Catholic bishops of Iowa, including the Catholic schools.Obviously we all want kids to be safe. The immediate feedback I received from our Catholic school superintendents on HSB 76 was that they felt the program was duplicative in the sense that people are already responsible for calling the police or DHS directly. They are not sure we need the Department of Education and a lawrelated education agency to develop a lawrelated curriculum on violence prevention. Also, this could be considered another mandate for schools taht we would have to have staff trained on with no funding provided by the state. We are interested in learning more about the need for the program.
Emily Piper [Iowa Association of School Boards]
IASB represents the 2000+ school board members across the state. We are registered in opposition to this bill for three reasons. First, it is duplicative. We already have training requirements, curriculum requirements and guidance/templates on developing high quality emergency response plans. Second, we do not see the value in posting signs in three places in each of our buildings and having two persons per building identified as those to receive information from the "safe and sound" program. Finally, we are adamantly opposed to providing our emergency response plans to the DE, or for that matter, any state department. These plans are locally developed, based on local conditions using the template provided by the DE (and developed in consultation with public safety). Further, these plans are to be kept confidential. Releasing these plans to a state agency increases the potential for the confidentiality to be compromised. More importantly, districts developed these plans in consultation with local law enforcement as per existing requirements. Our decision to share those with law enforcement should be that our decision.The creation of the statewide, 24hour, toll free hotline, internet site or mobile application for the purposes of receiving reports and the subsequent process for notifying school districts is a good idea but without elimination of the other requirements in this bill, IASB cannot support it.
Eric Goranson [Iowa Association of Christian Schools]
We obviously want kids to have resources like this but we object to the state telling us which one to use and we do not think public or private schools should be told what programs to promote on their walls. We have a few constitutional and practical concerns with the language in the bill. Additionally, if we allow everyone to get posting requirements like this in Code, it could quickly get out of control.We don't see the need for this bill at this time but we'd love to work with the Department to bring language to you that we both agree on.