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Vermont Agency of Education wants student feedback on new school safety law

A large, four story building with rows of windows with rounded tops sits on a winter day.
Elodie Reed
/
Vermont Public file
Edmunds Middle School, pictured in 2020, is one of the venues for a handful of listening sessions where students can share their thoughts on Vermont's new school safety law.

The Agency of Education is a holding a series of listening sessions this summer to gather input on the state’s new school safety law.

The listening sessions will gather feedback on a new state law that requires schools to hold emergency drills and lock all exterior doors.

Lindsey Halman is executive director of the group UP for Learning, which is helping collect student responses.

“Knowing that there’s these new requirements, we’re doing all these things, right, to make our school environment safe, but how does this experience translate, and transfer to young people?" Halman said.

The sessions come after a recent incident in Burlington where a police-led school safety exercise, which included gunshots, upset the students and staff.

“In light of what’s happened in Burlington, I think there’s an awareness of like, this is their lived experience, and it can be very triggering, and can bring back past trauma for young people. And so we have to handle these conversations with sensitivity and with care," Halman said.

The agency wants to hear from students in seventh to 12th grades.

Halman will help lead four listening sessions this summer. The events are scheduled for:

  • June 26 from 7-8 p.m. held virtually
  • July 10 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in Burlington
  • July 11 from 9-11 a.m. in Lyndonville
  • July 17 from 5-7 p.m. in Rutland

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message.

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Howard Weiss-Tisman is Vermont Public’s southern Vermont reporter, but sometimes the story takes him to other parts of the state.
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