Nebraska officials plan to form school safety task force

State officials want to convene a task force to address current safety protocols in Nebraska schools.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 3:04 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - State officials want to convene a task force to address current safety protocols in Nebraska schools.

With school safety top of mind this week following a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 21 people — mostly schoolchildren — dead, Nebraska officials confirmed to 6 News on Thursday that they are in the process of forming a panel to scrutinize the safety of the state’s schools.

“These tragedies are too common in our country, and their causes must be confronted,” a news release from the chairwoman of the Unicameral’s education committee states.

State Sen. Lynne Walz’s office issued the release Thursday calling on Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt to create a School Safety Task Force to ensure the state’s public schools are and remain safe by reviewing current school safety and security procedures and employing preparedness strategies.

“...tragic events like those in Uvalde compel us to reinforce the need to be more united than ever,” the release from Walz’s office states. “In the coming weeks and months Nebraska education leaders will ask tough questions, process gathered information, listen to experts, and assist schools in doing everything in our power to keep students safe.

Every issue and idea are on the table for consideration because, while tragedies like the one in Texas can quickly become political and partisan, the safety of our students is a moral imperative upon which we can all agree.”

Education commission news release

Blomstedt told 6 News in an email that he is supportive of the idea.

“I have been engaged with Sen. Walz as she convened several education leaders over the past two days to discuss the recent tragedy in Texas. I appreciate Sen. Walz [sic] call to action to create a task force and will be working with her and other education and community leaders in that effort.

Schools across Nebraska have been steadfast in their efforts to provide safe environments for students. I believe the broader call to review what is already in place and what more can be done in Nebraska is not just important, but imperative.”

Dr. Matthew L. Blomstedt, Nebraska Commissioner of Education

“I know our education community is committed to our students, families, and educators,” said Walz, who largely represents Dodge County. “They will continue to ensure our schools are safe and welcoming places where every student can thrive.”

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