Holcomb shares school safety report, recommendations & next steps


Posted on: August 10th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Governor Holcomb released the report detailing the school safety recommendations compiled by a working group formed by Indiana Department of Homeland Security Director Bryan Langley, in conjunction with David Woodward, the Indiana Department of Education’s Director of School Building Physical Security and Safety. Gov. Holcomb directed several next steps regarding the 18 recommendations in the report:
·         The Indiana State Budget Agency will direct an effort to identify costs associated with the recommendations and how they might be funded, whether through existing programs or other local, state or federal sources. The governor will use the information as he determines his 2019 legislative and administrative priorities
·         The Department of Homeland Security will initiate efforts to create an Indiana School Safety Hub to put state resources in one easy to use online location for schools and parents (recommendation #7)
·         The Integrated Public Safety Commission will develop a self-evaluation tool to maximize the effectiveness of each school’s communications systems and activities (recommendation #8)
·         The Indiana State Police will set up and develop an anonymous tip line (recommendation #10)
·         The state fire marshal has already developed guidance for schools on unplanned fire alarms and the Indiana Department of Education is assisting with distribution to all schools (recommendation #11). A link to the guidance may be found at: https://www.in.gov/dhs/unplannedfirealarms.htm

The recommendations are organized into three categories in the report:
·         Enhanced mental health services
·         Safety equipment, technology, tools and training
·         Policy or legislative considerations regarding school safety
A team of state leaders and subject matter experts from across the state conducted in-person and phone interviews, online surveys, and community forums to gather feedback. More than 400 responses were collected from school administrators, educators, first responders, public safety officials and others. And while the group learned that the needs of school districts can vary widely, the three categories of recommendations became clear once feedback was reviewed. Among other recommendations the report cites are:
·         Enhancing and expanding mental health services
·         Increasing funding flexibility for local law enforcement presence in schools
·         Identifying and implementing a universal mental health screening tool for schools to use
·         Requiring active shooter drills in every school
·         Creating funding flexibility for school safety grants
Last month, the governor announced the state would make handheld metal detectors available at no cost to traditional public, charter and private schools that request them. The 3,231 metal detectors requested by 369 school entities in this first round are expected to arrive at schools later this month. Schools that are interested, but did not place an order, will have another opportunity to do so later this fall. To view a full copy of the report, go to https://www.in.gov/dhs/.



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