With the school year in full swing, Hoosiers are encouraged to remain vigilant to ensure safe schools as the nation recognizes America’s Safe Schools Week, Oct. 21-27.
Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb also proclaimed Oct. 21-27 as Safe Schools Week in Indiana, in alignment with the national designation. Safe Schools Week is a National School Safety Center initiative to motivate key education and law enforcement policymakers, as well as teachers, parents and students, to continue focusing on school safety measures while providing a safe learning environment.
“It is the responsibility of all citizens to enhance the learning experiences of young people by helping to ensure fair and effective discipline, promote good citizenship and generally make schools safe and secure,” Holcomb indicated in the proclamation.
In September, the Indiana Secured Schools Board approved more than $19 million in matching state funds through the Secured School Safety Grant, marking the largest ever single-year investment in safety initiatives at Hoosier schools. These grants provide funding for school resource officers (SROs) and law enforcement officers in schools; equipment and technology; active event warning systems (no matching requirement); firearms training for teachers and staff that choose to allow guns on school property; threat assessments and implementation of a student and parent support services program.
In addition, the Indiana Department of Administration operates a free metal detector program that has distributed more than 3,400 metal detectors to more than 420 Indiana schools since mid-2018.
The Indiana Department of Education has supported its nationally recognized School Safety Specialist Academy since 1999 to train personnel to address safety concerns. The Indiana School Safety Hub also provides schools with a wealth of resources, training opportunities and other information designed to give schools the tools they need to keep students and staff safe.
Hoosiers looking for ways they can advocate for school safety in their community can visit the National School Safety Center website.