Rep. Kevin Parker’s legislation could prevent tragedy and empower kids

Legislator: Rep. Kevin Parker
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Avoiding tragedy and empowering kids is the goal of legislation being considered in Olympia. It's been introduced by a survivor of the Columbine shootings, who is now a Washington legislator.  Ruth Johnson reports from Olympia.

Johnson: Kevin Parker understands loss and uncertainty.

Parker: “Whenever you taste of significant level of pain, or you taste of a tragedy you tend to live a little differently, you tend to live life a little more deliberately.”

Johnson:  Parker, now a Republican House member, was 25…visiting Columbine High School, when two students opened fire.  Twelve teenagers died, a teacher was killed.  21 people were injured.

Parker is pressing for legislation that would empower kids to report danger, ask for help before tragedy happens.

Parker:  “It empowers them to pay attention because you might be the one to stop a school shooting at your school and you might be one to save your friend’s life because of something you have heard.” 

Johnson: His Student Protecting Students program would create a specialized hotline.

Parker: “This sets up a system they can utilize 24 hours a day and someone will pick up on the other end.”

Parker:  “Notice we are not taking anything away from kids, anything from teachers. On the contrary, we’re giving them another communication channel.”

Johnson:  It’s a channel that would come under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The concept is patterned after a similar program put into use in Colorado after the Columbine shootings.

House Bill 2823 now goes to the rules committee, where it becomes eligible for a full House vote.

Ruth Johnson, Olympia.


Washington State House Republican Communications
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