Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing new legislation aimed at empowering teachers and school administrators in the battle against school violence.
The ‘Red Flag’ Bill would allow them to pursue court intervention with students they believe pose a risk to themselves or others.
Right now, teachers can go to the police if they suspect a problem but there’s no guarantee anything will be done.
Governor Cuomo’s law would make sure their concern makes it before a judge, who could then, if they believe there’s a threat, take away someone’s gun or prevent them from getting guns.
“This is the intelligent way. If they have information, they sense that a student may be a danger, they should have something to do and this bill will give them that right” said Cuomo.
Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski agrees. He says this will help schools be more proactive.
“This legislation would allow school personnel to identify individuals before they have access to weapons, that they shouldn’t have access to weapons” said Urbanski.
If passed, there are questions regarding how it should be implemented. To legal expert Bob Brenna, this looks legal but some due process issues might arise.
“It could certainly be carried out in a way that could violate rights. There is a provision for an ex-parte application which means without the students involvement but that would cause an opportunity for the student to be heard in court.”
This type of immediate action isn’t just for teachers. It also applies to police officers and family members who may notice a threat.
There’s nine scheduled days left to vote on the ‘Red Flag’ Bill before New York’s legislative session comes to a close.