A Maryland lawmaker drafted a bill to protect every student in the state from motorized partitions in their schools.
After the death of third grader Wesley Lipicky in Fairfax County, Virginia, almost two years ago, Virginia passed legislation to avoid another tragedy.
Wesley was helping a teacher operate a motorized partition at his school when he got stuck between the partition and the wall.
Maryland lawmakers are considering legislation similar to Virginia's new law.
It would prohibit anyone from operating a motorized partition while students are in the room unless it has an additional safety sensor installed with it. It would also require annual training for operators of partitions. And it directs the Maryland Department of Education to develop model safety guidelines to share with school districts.
“There is absolutely no reason that these children should be injured in school,” said Sen. Jack Bailey, R-Calvert and St. Mary’s counties, who drafted the bill. “When your kids go to school, we figure they're safe. Your mind goes to your job; it goes to what you're working on. You shouldn't be worried there's some issue.”
DC-Area Schools That Have Motorized Room Partitions
Click on the dots to see where room partitions are located.
Source: Information provided by school districts.
Note: D.C. Public Schools was unable to provide information on room partitions. Culpeper County Public Schools, Manassas Park City Schools and Spotsylvania County Public Schools said they do not have any partitions.