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Legislature Passes School Safety Bill

The state legislature has passed a bill that would provide grants to schools that want to increase their security.

school officer

Photo: Gretchen Frazee/WFIU News

A police office stands at the front of Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Terre Haute.

Indiana schools can receive up to $50,000 in matching grants to make safety improvements under legislation headed to the governor’s desk Friday.

The legislation approved by the General Assembly provides money to public schools to evaluate existing school safety measures, purchase safety equipment or hire a school resource officer. The officers are trained law enforcement with extra training to work in the school environment.

Rep. Linda Lawson (D-Hammond) says the officers are an important resource to students.

“If there’s a problem at home, if there’s domestic violence, if they need food or if there’s other kinds of issues that a student might have, that officer should be able to reach out to people in the community and have those resources available to them where they can assist and help the people who are in that building, the students and the administrators,” he says.

The bill went through a bout of controversy earlier this month after a House committee added a provision mandating armed personnel in every public school. That language was eventually stripped from the legislation.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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