FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – The Indiana State Legislature is proposing putting armed protection officers in schools. If passed, Indiana would be the first state to make such a law.
According to the School Security Bill, armed protection officers could be anyone—a person, teacher, or staff member who volunteers. That person would then be required to go through at least 40 hours of protection training.
The School Security Bill passed through the Indiana State House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday, and now must go through the full House for a vote.
On Wednesday, Fort Wayne Community School (FWCS) officials met with a national school security expert on the issue. FWCS being the largest district in the state, officials say they have six school resource officers and a great relationship with local law enforcement agencies. Officials say they’re confident in the security measures they already have in place. Both FWCS officials and the security expert say they don’t find the need for an armed protection officer necessary.
"I believe that we should allow educators to educate, and to have that professional support of trained law enforcement officers like you have here in the district of Fort Wayne Schools working with the police department,” said Ken Trump, National School Security Expert.
"We also don't want our staff members to have to worry about that. They have enough to worry about day in and day out in making sure that our children are educated, and that's an additional burden that we just don't think is necessary,” said Krista Stockman, FWCS Public Information Officer.
Indiana lawmakers have added a waiver process into the bill that would allow schools to opt out of the requirement. Lawmakers claim if a school opts out, security would not be compromised because the waivers would be kept confidential. Outsiders would not know which schools have an armed protection officer or not. However, if the school chooses to have an armed protection officer, lawmakers plan to offer grants to help fund the extra security.
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