More than 200 Indiana schools are receiving the first round of the state‘s new security grants.
About half the schools opted to use the $30,000 to $50,000 grants to hire school resource officers–officers trained in both security and student counseling.
Grants could also be applied to security equipment or a threat assessment.
Avon Community Schools Superintendent Maggie Hoernemann says her district already has resource officers, and electronic ID makers for visitors. But she says the grants will allow Avon to buy automatic door locks.
“We do not currently have the funds in our capital projects budget to purchase something like this,” she says. “We are fortunate to have a couple of resource officers who cover all of our twelve buildings. But this is something we simply would not be able to afford if it were not for this grant.”
Six of Avon‘s schools are already equipped with the locks, which come with a panic button for office staff to instantly lock down the building if something looks suspicious.
The state set aside $9 million a year for the grants in the wake of last year‘s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Governor Pence, who visited Avon‘s Cedar Elementary School to announce the grants, says doing as much as possible to ensure the safety of both students and teachers will be a top priority.
He says the handful of schools which didn‘t apply for this year‘s grants will be encouraged to do so next year.