WHAT IS THE SCHOOL SAFETY HUB?
Every child deserves to learn in a safe environment. Every parent deserves peace of mind knowing his or her child remains safe while at school. Every educator deserves safe working conditions as he or she commits to the care and enrichment of our students.
With support from Governor Eric J. Holcomb, state legislators, our public safety community, and the many educators, students, and parents with a stake in maintaining a safe environment, Hoosier schools have invested wisely in personnel, equipment and planning to ensure schools remain a sanctuary for learning and development. This includes more than $100 million invested via Secured School Fund grants (see below) as well as a variety of initiatives and trainings offered by the Indiana Department of Education and through federal funding sources.
Despite this, Hoosiers also understand nothing is ever guaranteed in today’s climate. School violence has impacted dozens of schools around the country since the Columbine shooting in 1999. Indiana must address gaps in areas that that go beyond hardening our buildings and training to respond to incidents. The 2018 Indiana School Safety Recommendations report suggests Indiana address these issues and more by enhancing existing funding sources and programs related to school safety. In addition, it recommends an increased emphasis on enhanced and expanded mental health services as well as the adoption of additional equipment and technology impacting school safety.
This Indiana School Safety Hub represents the first phase of the state’s strategy to streamline information and safety-related resources available to communities across the state. Indiana offers a multitude of resources, trainings and mental health services, but it can be daunting for someone in need to find things quickly and effectively. Furthermore, some schools are unaware of funding opportunities to enhance school safety or how to conduct threat assessments and train educators to look for warning signs of distress among students. This site will continually evolve to share with students, educators and the general community valuable resources that could help to prevent violence in Hoosier schools.
Indiana Secured School Fund Summary
To date, more than $100 million dollars has been invested in securing Indiana's schools through money appropriated by the Indiana general assembly, federal grants, and matching funds used by local school districts, charter schools, and nonpublic accredited schools. These funds have been used to improve building security (e.g., new doors, access control systems, video cameras), fund School Resource Officers (SROs), and perform threat assessments to determine what threats exist and how to eliminate or respond to them.
Secured School Fund
- Established in 2014 along with the Secured School Safety Board
- Funding from general assembly: $53M + matching funds from schools
- Total number of awards: 1,517
To Date, Funding has been used for:
School Resource Officers
2018 Indiana School Safety Recommendations
Over the course of more than four months, a working group consisting of public safety officials, educators, and local law enforcement identified several key focus areas to enhance school security. Indiana must address gaps in areas that go beyond hardening our buildings and training to respond to incidents. An increased emphasis on enhanced and expanded mental health services as well as the adoption of equipment and technology impacting school safety is needed. In addition, it is recommended that policy makers re-evaluate the scope of eligible projects and the funding formula for the Secured School Fund. Finally, it is clear that multiple agencies and groups collect data on trends, threats, and student behavior, but that information is rarely shared with all the stakeholders with an interest in student well-being. The recommendations set forth in this report will help Indiana take school security to the next level and further establish the state as a national standard when it comes to protecting children.
Mental Health Services
- Make mental health services and resources available to every student
- Direct FSSA to identify and implement a universal mental health screening tool for schools to utilize
- Require schools to participate in the CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System Survey
Equipment and Technology
- Build an "Indiana School Safety Hub" resource, making available to all schools visitor management software, SRO daily reporting software, and school safety plans
- Develop a tool for schools to be able to self-evaulate their communication capabilities and processes
- Increase annual School Safety Fund appropriation to cover additional expenditures, such as law enforcement officers in schools
- Reconfigure the current match requirements and award formula to expand accessibility to all schools
- Amend Indiana Code to require a active shooter drills in every school