Hundreds of Indiana Educators Attend School Safety Training
About 1,000 school administrators and teachers attended this year’s Indiana School Safety Specialists Academy in Indianapolis on Monday, learning how to respond in an emergency and more ways to keep an eye out for their students.
- By Jessica Davis
- May 16, 2019
About 1,000 school administrators and teachers attended the Indiana School Safety Specialists Academy in Indianapolis on Monday. Attendees learned how to conduct threat assessments, how to handle a digital or written threat toward schools and how to respond to an active shooter situation.
"There are some districts that have been through some crises and our lessons learned from them are being shared, which is powerful for the state," said Jennifer McCormick, Indiana superintendent of public instruction. "The whole gamut's being covered in that advanced training, which we think is extremely important."
Attendees learned about takeaways from the May 25, 2018, shooting at Noblesville West Middle School, in which a teacher and student were injured.
"We've learned a lot about being diligent and asking for a lot of help from across the nation by experts that have been shared," McCormick said. "Unfortunately, you never want to learn from an event like that, but shame on us if we don't take that and learn from it."
The training included education about the warning signs of destructive behavior in students. The goal is to keep an eye on the welfare of children.
"We have partnered with a great deal of agencies and a system of care across Indiana, so the need is there. We are second in the nation on teen suicide, so the problem isn't going away," McCormick said. "Us pretending it's not a problem is not helpful. Schools will proceed. Schools will do what's right."
The biennial budget recently approved by state legislators and the governor included an increase in grant funding for school safety, jumping from $5 million to $19 million annually. McCormick said the grant funding will help schools, but it may not be enough money, she said.
"It doesn't matter if you're running a hospital. It doesn't matter if you're running a Statehouse or a schoolhouse. Safety is expensive," McCormick said. "For us to pretend like it's not or try to rationalize minimal dollars, doesn't seem like that makes a whole lot of sense for a state."
After the School Safety Specialists Academy event, administrators and teachers will return to their home districts to share what they’ve learned.
Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.