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Jindal creates task force to look at school safety

Last Modified: Friday, January 04, 2013 4:27 PM

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal formed a 13-member study group Friday to review safety standards at Louisiana schools and colleges, in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

Jindal issued an executive order creating the group, which will be led by Col. Mike Edmonson, head of the Louisiana State Police, and Jimmy LeBlanc, secretary of the corrections department.

The governor is asking the group to assess current safety programs at public and private schools from prekindergarten through 12th grade and at colleges and universities around the state.

"When such a tragedy occurs, it is imperative that those involved with school and campus safety for the more than 1,700 public and private schools, colleges and universities work collaboratively to re-examine the plans and measures in place to identify any areas needing improvement, incorporate new strategies and work together to exercise existing response plans," Jindal said in the order.

The group is to suggest improvements that can be made by state agencies and recommend any statutory changes it thinks are necessary to lawmakers, in advance of the regular legislative session that begins in April.

The panel will have representatives from the state's education, health, social services, juvenile justice and homeland security departments.

Also included will be officials from the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Board of Regents and the governing boards for the LSU, Southern University, University of Louisiana and Louisiana Community and Technical College systems.

The shootings in Newtown, Conn., were the second-largest school shooting in the country's history. A gunman with a high-powered rifle killed 20 children, ages 6 and 7 from Sandy Hook Elementary School, as well as six adults on the campus.

A Louisiana state law from 2001 requires all elementary and secondary public schools to have a written crisis management and response plan.

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