Indiana’s Educators Talk School Safety

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INDIANAPOLIS- Keeping your children safe in school. That was the name of the game Tuesday, when some of Indiana’s top educators gathered together in one room. They were there to talk school safety and security.

Ideas and topics tossed around today come on the heels of tragic school shootings in the United States.

 
As Indiana lawmakers decide what to do.. education leaders met to hash out real, tangible solutions.
 
Dr. Jennifer McCormick, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction said 
 
“My fear is I’ve been in some schools where we’ll talk to kids, we’ll talk to educators and they’re like ‘we don’t run drills’ That’s very concerning if something happens and you’ve not practiced it.” 
 
Which is why State Superintendent, Dr. Jennifer McCormick wants all Indiana schools to be part of  Indiana’s School safety Training Academy 
That and school safety were some of the main points of today’s Statehouse Conversation with Congresswoman Susan Brooks and others.
 
Congresswoman Susan Brooks, who Represents Indiana’s 5th district said Tuesday “I would strongly encourage them, because this is free training for them.”
 
Started in 1999, Indiana’s School safety Training Academy gives educators hands-on training in things like emergency preparedness, and school security.
Congresswoman Susan Brooks said “I’d really like to try to take the lessons they’ve learned, the type of training they’ve provided and possibly expand that as a model in the country.” 
 
Right now, McCormick said by law, only public schools are required to attend. McCormick met with state lawmakers Tuesday, to talk about the program.
 
Dr. McCormick explained  “Making sure we’re running drills. Making sure we’re participating in the school safety academy, having a school safety specialist on campus. All those items are free per-se. I know time is not free and you have to hire folks to do it. We’re not talking a lot of additional dollars” 
 
So…for schools in the program…where’s the money going to come from? 
 
Dr. Jennifer McCormick explained “They need people. So, school resource officer who are trained, school law enforcement. That’s a big conversation right now. Also the conversation about equipment…whether it’s panic buttons or cameras, apps for different safety measures.” 
 
She said money is there…somewhere.
 
McCormick said “A lot of those things are quite pricey so some of our districts that are struggling financially, it can be a real struggle. But, that’s where some of the grants and being aggressive and say ‘we’re going to go after every bit of money that we can from the Federal level and certainly from the state.” 
 
Brooks said Indiana schools are focusing on mental health training and resources in schools, but she is surprised by Indiana’s youth suicide rate. McCormick said they’re working hard to address those things too.
 
Lawmakers tried to get some school safety bills passed in the session that just ended.
Dr. McCormick also said this conversation about  school safety is gonna have to go into next session. 

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