Ensuring school safety is an issue at the forefront of our country right now. This is a complex problem with no simple solution, but taking a multifaceted approach can help better protect our students.
Indiana is on the right track. Last year, the Security Industry Association highlighted our state as a “national leader” for implementing and investing in school safety policies. Indiana is 1 of 5 states with a “red flag” law, which allows guns to be taken from individuals a court determines to be dangerous to themselves or others.
Indiana’s School Safety Specialist Academy has trained and certified nearly 2,500 specialists at no cost to schools. We are also 1 of 2 states to require every school district to employ a certified specialist who is trained annually on best practices.
In addition to these measures, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a new law authored by State Rep. Wendy McNamara putting more protections in place for Hoosier students. The law appropriates up to $5 million to the Indiana Secured School Safety Grant Fund in addition to the $45 million already allotted to support initiatives to keep schools safe and secure.
Under the new law, school safety specialist training will include information on identifying, preventing and intervening in actions by a person on school property who has the intent to harm others.
The mass murderer in the recent Parkland tragedy pulled the school’s fire alarm in order to fill the hallways with students and faculty. To help prevent copycat attacks, protocol in the event of an unplanned fire alarm is updated to allow an employee to barricade or block a door for up to three minutes while the fire alarm is investigated by a designated school official.
Students go to school to get an education, and they should not have to worry about senseless violence in their classrooms. Hoosier lawmakers, educators and law enforcement officers have worked and will continue working to ensure the children in our schools are safe and protected.