Testimony on 6846: An Act Concerning the Implementation of Crisis Response Drills in Public Schools

Education Committee
March 8th, 2023
Submitted by: Matthew Dionne, BSW

Good afternoon, Sen. Douglas McCrory, Rep. Jeff Currey, and Education committee members. My name is Matt Dionne and I live in Wethersfield, Connecticut. I am an intern at the National Association of Social Workers, CT Chapter, and on behalf of the National Association of Social Workers, CT Chapter representing over 2,300 members, we thank the Education Committee for raising H.B. 6846.

The NASW/CT strongly favor this bill since it reduces the number of fire and crisis response drills from ten to three exercises each school year and implements a best-practice, Trauma Informed intervention method as well a standard operating procedure throughout our state.

Currently, there is not a standard on how to proceed with lockdowns or active shooter drills in our state, let alone actual reports of what kind of crisis drills our children have experienced and are left mentally and emotionally scared.

Depression, stress/anxiety, and overall mental health issues increased just from experiencing a lockdown.
• Depression Increased (39%).
• Stress and Anxiety Increased (42%).
• Overall, Mental Health Problems Increased (23%).
• Not just in children but teachers and parents as well (Everytown, 2021).

This bill will reduce childhood trauma from excessive school drills and will assure that when drills are conducted they are done so in the most effective and safe manner for students. I have attached a fact sheet to this testimony that elaborates on this issue.  Click here for the attachment.

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