The Kansas Senate has initially passed a bill to set the number of crisis drills in Kansas schools.

“Last year, the Legislature adopted a one-year proviso that cut back on the number of fire drills by a few, but then added more than that amount in what were called crisis drills,” said Kansas Association of School Boards Vice President for Advocacy Mark Tallman. “Dealing with maybe a school intruder, a shooter situation, something like that. The result was that districts were doing about a drill every three weeks.”

Like all budget provisoes, that number is expiring after one year.

“Senate Bill 128 amends permanent law to require four fire drills, two tornado drills, one in the fall and one in the spring and three crisis drills,” said Tallman.

It’s important to be prepared, but kids shouldn’t be scared.

“There is some concern about how you balance making sure kids are prepared if there is some type of threat, but not wanting, frankly, to traumatize them,” said Tallman. “Also, not wanting them to get just kind of blase about it. The idea is kind of to set a reasonable set of a minimum. Districts can do more, but require basically one drill a month.”

Though tornado and fire drills usually require students to move for the drill, often crisis drills are drills where students shelter in place.