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.
What’s Indiana doing now?
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.
We are one of only a few states in the country to operate a School Safety Specialist Academy, which has trained and certified nearly 2,500 specialists at no cost to schools. Indiana is 1 of 2 states to require every school district to employ a certified specialist who is trained annually on best practices.
Each school must have a school safety plan and an assigned full- or part-time school resource officer in the district who is a member of law enforcement with specialized training and full police powers.
Over the last five years, Indiana invested nearly $45 million toward Secured School Safety Grants, which are used by schools to hire SROs, conduct threat assessments and upgrade security. The state also offers assistance and training for educators and staff on drills and protocols for building security and safety.
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How can we strengthen school safety?
Lawmakers are considering a proposal to require the State Department of Education to audit every Indiana school corporation’s safety plan, perform an onsite review in each district and make recommendations for improvement. Another provision would require the Secured School Safety Board to thoroughly review school safety across Indiana and submit recommendations for improvements to lawmakers by the end of this year.
The mass murderer in Florida pulled the school’s fire alarm in order to fill the hallways with students and faculty. To help prevent copycat attacks, another proposal would require the State Fire Marshall and the DOE to give guidance to schools on fire evacuation requirements. In the event of an unplanned alarm, employees could block or barricade a door for up to three minutes while a designated official investigates the alarm.
I will keep you updated on the state’s efforts to further improve its already strong school safety policies. Please contact me with any questions or concerns at 317-232-9981 or firstname.lastname@example.org.