Whenever a school shooting or other incident takes place, it becomes a somber lesson for the agency that trains school safety specialists in Indiana.
The Department of Education has a School Safety Specialists Academy, offering courses year-round in which anyone who works for a school district or corporation can become certified in school safety.
David Woodward, the director of the Academy, says Indiana is the only state he knows of that offers this type of training, and says state law requires each school district to have at least one certified school safety specialist on their staff.
The academy was formed in 1999, but Woodward says how the state handles school safety has changed numerous times since then. Ideas are shared among school districts in Indiana and other states to help determine what works and what doesn‘t.
When an incident like Friday‘s shooting in Connecticut takes place, Woodward says he does his best to get as much information about the incident to the 1,000 school safety specialists across the state.
That way they can adapt what took place to each district‘s school safety plan. Woodward acknowledges that all the training in the world cannot stop every single instance of violence in schools.
He says he just wants to give parents and other family members as much comfort as possible that Indiana is doing all it can to make public schools as safe as possible.