US Rep. Susan Brooks: ‘We must make school safety a top priority’

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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Children across Indiana are back in school, and security is top of mind.

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., had a school safety roundtable Friday with leaders in Noblesville.

Brooks said, “We must make school safety a top priority in our communities.”

She said the listening session with school and community leaders allowed her to hear some concerns about school security. She said the session also was designed to be an honest conversation with leaders about what they want from federal, state and local officials.

On May 25 at Noblesville West Middle School, a boy who is a student shot another student and a teacher inside a classroom. Fear continues to linger three months later. A threat deemed not be credible on Friday night brought an extra police presence to the Noblesville High School football game, the school said on Twitter. 

Brooks met with Noblesville Schools Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer, principals, board members, law enforcement and safety specialists in her district. The congresswoman said school officials work with students on active-shooter drills, but need to do a better job of keeping parents informed. 

“In educating the parents on what would happen in the event of an emergency, whether it’s a shooter or maybe even a weather incident. They need to and are all trying to bring parents and the school community more into the training and understanding.” 

She said the leaders told her more schools want resource officers. 

“All of them would love to have school resource officers,” Brooks said. “Many of them do, but not all do. Some have relationships with local law enforcement, and that is their school resource officer in the more rural and smaller communities.”

Also, Brooks said, school leaders told her they want more mental health resources. 

“They said increased depression anxiety challenges among the student body,” Brooks said. “And they want to have trained professionals, if a school will pay for it or a school district will pay for it, or have relationships with mental health providers to try to help our students.” 

Brooks said she’s gathering support in Washington for a bill called the Jake Laird Law. It’s an Indiana law named after an Indianapolis police officer who was killed in 2004 by a man who was struggling with mental illness. It would give grants to states so they can put “red flag” laws in place, which allow police to seize guns from people determined to be a danger to themselves or others. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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