Tornado Drills To Become Mandatory In Nebraska Schools

By: Leah Uko OMAHA (KPTM) - Starting this summer students in Nebraska will have mandatory tornado drills thanks to a bill that was proposed by a group of kids in middle school. Governor Dave Heineman visited Beadle Middle School on Wednesday to sign into law a bill that will require all schools in Nebraska to hold a minimum of three tornado drills per year. The bill was proposed by students in the school's Future Bot Innovators national science program. The group said entered a contest to build a robot and had to complete a project with a theme. They said they chose tornados and realized there was no law requiring Nebraska schools to have drills to prepare for a real tornado. "All the states around us like Minnesota, Iowa and stuff like that, they actually have laws and we don't," said 5th grader Rachel Dolan. "So we thought that was kind of weird." It states that the school boards or boards of education in each school district in the state need to develop policies that relate to tornado drills. The policies include making an action plan that will determine exactly what to do when a tornado alarm goes off, post a tornado shelter area route diagram that all school personnel should be familiar with, establish how students and staff can get to shelter areas safely, assign staff responsible for removing students from playgrounds, athletic venues and portable classrooms and establish procedures relating to the operation and evacuation of student transportation vehicles during a drill. The law will go into effect on July 18th.