School Safety Commission Addresses Safety Concerns After School Hours

Clinton County School Safety Commission Chairman Dr. Jim Hanna listens to individuals talking during the event.

The Clinton County School Safety Commission celebrated its 10th year in operation on Friday focusing on what goes on with school safety in the second half of the day and elevating event safety at extracurricular events.

“Looking back at the minutes, the big thing that stood out to me is how we evolved,” said School Safety Commission Chairman and Superintendent of Rossville Schools Dr. Jim Hanna. “It basically used to be a sharing of events and it will be about an hour. Now, we’ve gone full evolution to really focusing on the needs that we have either on a daily basis or a large scale event.”

Lt. Richard Craig, School Resource Officer in the Avon School Corporation talked School Safety the Second Half of the Day which dealt with incidents that have happened “after hours” such as pair of football games where gunshots ended the game before an outcome could be determined.

Craig talked about the 2021 football game at Ben Davis, who was hosting Carmel on that Friday night when gunshots went off causing a mad dash of panic of wondering what was really going on. Craig said the one thing the video showed was the Ben Davis players hitting the ground immediately, while Carmel players and officials ran as hard as they could for the locker room.

Another game that was shown just happened on August 23, 2023, at a high school football game in Oklahoma where a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed during the fourth quarter of that game. In that instance, nobody had a clue what has taking place and that included the game announcers on television.

Hanna was impressed by the speaker showing those two videos.

“I thought it was interesting he brought up the Ben Davis-Carmel game and how people reacted to that,” said Hanna.

Craig also had a sobering thought. In an ESPN article, it said there have been 170 school shootings with 22 dead. He added most schools don’t have plans to cover such events.

“We’re very well prepared during the day,” said Hanna. ” But we always can get better not only during the day but those extracurricular events.”

The Commission also heard from Nicholas Crosby, who is a Lieutenant of Administrative Services at Purdue. His focused on “Elevating Event Safety at Extracurricular Events”.

His main thing was for those attending events “to see and be seen”, adding “always be aware of surroundings.”

Hanna was asked what he thought the commission needed to work the most on.

“We need to continue to bring professional development to our county and also continue and trying to improve county wide how we respond to critical incidents or being able to respond to those critical incidents,” said Hanna.