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California bill would put ‘panic buttons’ in schools

Lawmakers gave preliminary approval to a bill that would require panic alarms to be installed in all 10,221 California schools.

AB1076 by Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, would require high-traffic areas on campuses, like classrooms, cafeterias, theaters and gyms to be equipped. The system would alert others on campus of an emergency and send a direct signal to local law enforcement.

Under the bill, the panic buttons would be required only if federal money was made available to pay for them. Officials say the price would range from $1,000 to $5,000 per school. The total cost to outfit every California school would be between $10.2 million and $51.1 million.

The bill passed the Assembly Education Committee and now moves to another Assembly committee.

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