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Aurora solon seeks backing for bill on campus safety

/ 11:25 PM January 26, 2013

Aurora Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara called on fellow legislators to support a bill that would  put in place tighter security on campuses nationwide that was passed at the committee level in  the House of Representatives on  Wednesday.

“It is not as sexy or as controversial as other bills but just as timely, if not more urgent as any,” said Angara, principal author of the draft law, Campus Safety Act, in a statement.

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Amid recent acts of violence on campuses, the bill, according to Angara, should be the state’s response to the  clamor from parents and students for tighter campus security.

“Providing a secure environment on campuses is a measure that we should pass with great urgency. We don’t need another campus killing to persuade us to do something about campus violence,” said the Aurora legislator, a candidate for senator of the administration.

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“I am a father of two, and I feel for parents who invest blood, sweat and tears for their child’s education only to learn that their son or daughter had been harmed, or worse, killed in school,” said the lawmaker in a statement.

The draft law mandates every school to create a crime prevention  committee, which shall prepare and oversee the execution of comprehensive security plans.

“Prevention is at the heart of this measure,” said Angara. He cited a 2010 study by the Unicef that found that seven in 10 students experience violence in school.

“That’s an alarming number and so pervasive that those who were surveyed believed violence to be part of school life,” said Angara, who also chairs the House committee on higher and technical education.

Under the draft law, schools should be transparent and open about campus crime statistics as well as in-house crime prevention plans.

Parents have to have ready access to such information, according to the bill.

“These data should be available to parents for them to make intelligent and informed choices on which institutions can best ensure the safety of their children,” he said.

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Covered by the bill are violence instigated by fraternities. One of the most recent cases of campus violence is the killing during hazing rites in Cavite of a San Beda law student. Also early last month, gunmen fired on  a group of students in the university belt area in Manila, killing one and wounding two.

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TAGS: bill, Campus, Safety, School, Security
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