Washington House Bill 1941

Learn the New School Drill, Reunification, and School Safety Plan Requirements

Washington House Bill1941

What is Washington’s School Safety Law HB 1941?

Rep. Amy Walen, the bill’s prime sponsor, was influenced to develop HB 1941 after parents consistently raised concerns about their children being upset after realistic active shooter drills. Walen argues that these drills are associated with increased depression, anxiety, and fear of death among students from 5-years-old to high school age and teachers, staff, and guardians. 

HB 1941 aims to protect individuals from these unintended side-effects by restricting how schools conduct active shooter drills. HB 1941 also has many requirements for school safety and reunification plans. Download your free copy of Raptor’s Washington HB 1941 analysis to see a detailed summary and learn how to comply.  

What is Washington’s School Safety Law (HB 1941)?

“We want our kids to feel safe…and we want them to know that we’re going to do everything we can to protect them.”

- Rep. Laurie Dolan, House Education Committee meeting, February 2022.

Summary of Washington HB 1941

  • Passed on March 17, 2022 and goes into effect on June 9, 2022. 
  • Drills with live simulations or reenactments of active shooter scenarios must be trauma-informed and developmentally appropriate.  
  • Schools must conduct at least one safety-related drill each month and alert students, teachers, and staff before each drill.  
  • Drills must teach students and staff responses for shelter-in-place, lockdown, and evacuation.  
  • Schools in lahars or tsunami zones must also conduct earthquake and pedestrian evacuation drills.  
  • Schools must have school safety, and student-family reunification plans to be eligible for federal assistance. 

Learn key considerations to build your school safety plan in Raptor’s Guide to K-12 Emergency Management: Proven Strategies to Protect Your School

What are Washington HB 1941’s School Safety Drill Requirements?

Washington HB 1941 states, “Lockdown drills may not include live simulations of or reenactments of active shooter scenarios that are not trauma-informed and age and developmentally appropriate.” Schools are required to give participants warning of drills and keep accurate records of each drill. Schools must conduct at least one safety-related drill each month, including during summer school. These drills focus on three basic responses: 

  1. Shelter-in-Place, which involves students sheltering in their classroom or current location (indoors) to limit their exposure to harm
  2. Lockdown, which isolates students and staff from threats of violence
  3. Evacuation, which moves students and staff out of the school building/campus and away from the threat or hazard 

These drills must include pedestrian evacuation drills for schools within lahar or tsunami hazard zones and an earthquake drill using the “drop, cover, and hold” technique.  

Respond to Everyday Incidents

Teach How to Survive Violence Without Increasing Fear

Empower students and staff to survive any emergency with effective age- and developmentally appropriate training. Raptor customers receive a no-cost, 1-school year subscription to the Safe Kids Inc.® H.E.R.O. Program curriculum.

What are Washington HB 1941’s School Safety Plan Requirements?

School districts must have plans that are consistent with federal law to be eligible for federal assistance. These plans address all phases of emergency management and contain policies for students and staff with special needs or disabilities. The plan must also:  

  • Have a family-student reunification plan that includes procedures for communicating the plan to students, staff, families, and local first responders 
  • Use training guidance from Washington’s emergency management division  
  • Require the building’s principal to be certified on the incident command system (ICS) 
  • Consider how facilities can be used for assistance or shelters in community-wide emergencies  
  • Clearly outline how the school will request public safety and first responders to participate in safety-related drills 

Understanding the Role of Lockdown Drills with Dr. Jaclyn Schildkraut and Dr. Amanda Nickerson

Watch how Raptor collaborated with school and city staff for a parent-student reunification exercise at Midlothian ISD (TX).

How Can Raptor Help with Washington House Bill 1941 Compliance?

Raptor has partnered with Safe Kids to provide Raptor customers with a no-cost, 1-school year subscription to the Safe Kids Inc.® H.E.R.O. Program curriculum. Schools can practice drills with help from Raptor® Drill Manager, which enables schools to:  

  • Schedule drills and track compliance  
  • Quickly verify each building’s drill activity  
  • Notify staff before drills  
  • Analyze reports for insights on where they need to improve   

To Streamline the Entire Reunification Process, Schools Can Leverage Raptor® Reunification.

Raptor’s school reunification software: 

  • Eliminates inaccuracy and reduces liabilities 
  • Tracks student status and generates detailed history of events 
  • Ensures students are reunified with approved guardians by screening guardians for sex offender status and custodial restrictions 
  • Records guardian signature and timestamp for each reunification 
  • Syncs with Student Information Systems (SIS) 
  • Follows industry best practices and is configurable to unique protocols  
Raptor school reunification software