• Gov. Patrick announces task force for school safety; why now?


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- More than one year after the Newtown tragedy, and almost 15 years after Columbine, why now, in January of 2014, is Governor Deval Patrick announcing a task force to look at school safety and security?

    Parents are troubled about what we're doing now to protect kids in schools, especially after hearing the task force recommendations won't be put to use until next year.

    "Well we know from the news it's late. We know from the violence, it's late," parent Debra Digiulio said.

    Officials say every school district in the state has a different emergency plan. The Patrick Administration's own news release says a majority of school districts in Massachusetts are under prepared or not prepared at all for emergency situations because of a lack of resources.

    FOX 25 Political Reporter Sharman Sacchetti asked Patrick how long they had been talking about this task force, and he deferred to Education Secretary Matt Malone.

    "We've been working very hard to get this off the ground over the past several months," Malone said.

    Back in 2007, FOX Undercover's Mike Beaudet exposed loopholes in school security in Massachusetts, showing how one could easily walk right in to many schools, no questions asked.

    So why has Patrick decided to do this now, after all this time?

    He did take that question, and pointed to pending gun control legislation and the Gun Safety Working Group on Beacon Hill.

    "We are waiting to see what their recommendations are and then how we work with them moving forward," Patrick said.

    Patrick says some school districts have set up good response plans, but it's not clear they have plans in place to prevent an emergency. Sacchetti asked what exactly schools have now, and the governor deferred again to Malone who said this is all about creating a uniform system.

    "It's really about collaboration and sharing good ideas," Malone said.

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