COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Teachers and parents are calling on lawmakers in the South Carolina State House to act and make schools safer after learning politicians have been studying solutions to prevent school shootings for years.
A special School Safety Task Force hammered-out 62 recommendations on how to get schools safer, but no legislation ever came out of the 2014 study. The suggestions include putting one school resource officer at every school, providing more mental health help, and mandating active shooter drills.
Monifa Lemons is one parent who has her own ideas on how to make schools safer, starting with better detection of mental health disorders. It's one thing that's been on her mind since the High school shooting in Parkland, FL.
"It kind of happened and we got upset and then we went back to normal a little bit," Lemons said. "We make these lists, we make these to-do lists just like we would at home. You make a punch list at your house and then you walk away, you know. You might not get to it for months. But look at what's happening while we're not getting to our punch lists."
Teacher and Education Association President Bernadette Hampton says there was not enough attention on special task force's report four years ago. She helped write it.
"The reports need to come off of the shelf, dust them off, and really look at what's being considered," Hampton says.
Lawmakers say some schools are doing some of the things recommended, but it's difficult to find a way to pay for things for the schools that cannot afford them. Hampton says it's time to allocate the money for safer schools, for measures like having the state help fund the resource officers.
"When you think about really wanting to have an impact on a situation, it goes back to your willingness to invest," she says.
Some things that are not on the list, are metal detectors or armed teachers. Those are separate bills filed in House of Representatives.