A bill designed to protect students and teachers in South Carolina schools has passed both the state house and senate. 

Senate Bill 709, “The School Safety Bill,” passed Wednesday during a special clean-up session. 

“Although we pushed it to the wire, in the end, we received broad, bi-partisan support for the school safety bill,” Said Senator Greg Hembree of Horry and Dillon counties.

That bill requires every school district develop a school safety plan that includes responses for fire, severe weather, and active shooter situations.

Hembree said his proposal for the bill was prompted by learning that ride inspections were not required under South Carolina law, as well as the school shootings that have occurred in other states.

“With the help of House Education Chairman Rita Allison and other members of the House and Senate, we crafted a stronger bill,” Hembree said. “This is an important step in our ongoing mission to keep our children safe while they learn.”

The South Carolina Department of Education, State Fire Marshall and SLED will work together to provide recommendations in developing those plans. those plans would be subject to review by the State Department of Education. 

“It was important that local districts retain the authority to develop a plan that fits the community’s facilities and resources. At the same time, we must maintain appropriate standards,” Said Senator Hembree