INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Department of Education on Tuesday hosted school administration leaders from 14 states in the state’s first State Education Chief Roundtable on School Safety.
The purpose of the roundtable discussion is to share best practices for implementing effective school safety policies and procedures. State education officials said they invited representatives from 50 states and territories, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick hosted 40 representatives from 14 states and Washington, D.C.
“Across the nation, Indiana is not alone,” McCormick said. “It was a good day for Indiana, and a great day for our partners.”
The roundtable discussion was during the 2018 Indiana Advances School Safety Specialist Academy, and Adam Baker with the department explained that out-of-state visitors could attend training sessions and learn how Indiana trains its safety specialists. Indiana and New Jersey are the only U.S. states to mandate a district school safety specialist. McCormick said Indiana implemented its program in 1999.
“I think Indiana is leading in a lot of ways, but we’re also learning from each other,” she told members of the media after the conference. “Utah shared a very unique app that they’re using across the state . Missouri shared a lot of legislation and best practices. New Jersey was here and shared a lot about their social emotional programs and how they scaled that.”
McCormick has not put any new plans into motion since the roundtable but said her team picked up a lot of different pieces and can decide if they fit for Indiana.
She also applauded Monday’s passage of House Bill 1230, which will send $5 million in school safety funding from the state to local school districts.
“Any additional money we are thankful for,” McCormick said.
Others in the Statehouse said they were confident Indiana is doing its best to protect students.
“People say, ‘Well, we shouldn’t be arming teachers’ and I agree with that,” said House Assistant Majority Whip Jim Lucas, a Republican from Seymour. “We shouldn’t be arming teachers, we should quit disarming them.”
“Indiana requires a license to legally and lawfully carry a handgun in the state of Indiana,” Lucas said. “Let’s recognize that license. Why is school property off limits?”
In regards to that safety measure, McCormick said she is decided.
“I am not anti-guns in school as long as the person who is armed is law enforcement, school resource officers, those who are tactically trained to use it and use it wisely.”
Agencies that attended the event:
- State Superintendent of Public Instruction – Indiana Department of Education
- Senior Advisor – Indiana Department of Education
- Director of School Building Security – Indiana Department of Education
- Executive Director – Indiana Department of Homeland Security
- Indiana Governor
- Chief Deputy – Office of the Indiana Attorney General
- Deputy Chief of Staff – Congresswoman Susan Brooks, U.S. House of Representatives Indiana District 5
- Member – Indiana State Board of Education
- Indiana State Police
- Executive Director – Indiana Sheriffs’ Association
- Deputy Director for Operations – Office of the State Superintendent of Education D.C.
- Director, Division of Student Transportation – Office of the State Superintendent of Education D.C.
- Principal Education Consultant, Regulatory Support & Wellness – Illinois State Board of Education
- Director, Office of School Preparedness & Emergency Planning – New Jersey Department of Education
- Assistant Commissioner Field Services Division- New Jersey Department of Education
- Safe Schools, No Pass/No Drive, Substance Abuse Prevention, & Suicide Prevention – Kentucky Department of Education
- Associate Executive Director, Board Relations – Missouri School Boards’ Association
- Executive Director – Missouri School Boards’ Association
- Director, Division of Student Success – Kentucky Department of Education
- Acting Commissioner – New Jersey Department of Education
- Director – Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
- Deputy Superintendent of Student Achievement – Utah State Board of Education
- Member – Utah State Board of Education
- ESSA Project Manager – Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
- State Superintendent of Public Instruction – Utah State Board of Education
- Coordinator, Grants & Resources – Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
- Deputy Commissioner – New Hampshire Department of Education
- Program Analyst for Strategic Initiatives & Performance – Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education D.C.
- Director – Iowa Department of Education
- General Counsel – Iowa Department of Education
- Education Administrator – Alaska Department of Education
- Program Coordinator – Alaska Department of Education
- Education Specialist – Alaska Department of Education
- Deputy Superintendent of Operations – Idaho State Department of Education
- Safe & Drug Free Schools Director – Idaho State Department of Education
- Chief of Staff – Indiana Department of Education
- Special Assistant Office of Educational Technology – US Department of Education
- Deputy Secretary of Education – US Department of Education
- Director of Legislative Affairs – Indiana Department of Education
- Consultant – Kentucky Department of Education
- Executive DIrector – Illinois State Board of Education
- IDOE General Counsel
- White House School Commissiion on School Safety United States Department of Justice