State Superintendent Objects To Armed Personnel Mandate

Glenda Ritz says she does not support an amended bill that would create school protection officers, employees who must carry guns.

Glenda Ritz

Photo: ISTA

Glenda Ritz speaks with the media.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz says she objects to a recent change to a school safety bill that would require armed personnel in every Indiana public school.

A House committee Tuesday amended a Senate-approved school safety bill to create what the bill calls school protection officers, employees who must carry guns. The definition includes teachers and principals. The bill mandates a protection officer in each building, and that is why State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says she does not support it.

“I am for those types of decisions being made at the local level, at the school district level and they should be the ones determining the officers and the types of officers that are going to be in their schools,” Ritz says.

Senator Pete Miller (R-Avon), the bill’s original author, says the House change is not what he had in mind for his bill, but he is not opposed to the concept.

“For me, I would be comfortable with that in my kids’ school, if there was someone with a gun, but this is the legislative process so we will see how the public reacts and if we get a lot of push back we’ll have to consider that,” he says.

Miller says if the bill passes the House, he is not sure whether he will agree to the changes or take the bill to conference committee for both houses to work out the details.

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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