Mahan: Building on Indiana’s school safety policies

Posted by: Lydia Kirschner  | Monday, January 28, 2019 9:42 am

Indiana schools have many tools available to keep students and educators safe. However, after two school shooting incidents in under a year, it is clear that more must be done in order to protect Hoosier students, teachers and staff. This session, state lawmakers are taking steps to better ensure the safety and well-being of those in our schools.

Indiana is a national leader in school safety and security, according to the Security Industry Association. To date, the state has invested over $100 million into increasing security for students and teachers. With 1.1 million K-12 students in Indiana, every dollar matters.

Through House Bill 1004, schools would implement recommendations from a 2018 Indiana school safety report in order to improve mental health resources for students and strengthen physical security. I am co-authoring this proposal for a new law to improve building security, provide funding for law enforcement and school resource officers, conduct threat assessments for schools and continue increasing investment into school safety and security. Schools would conduct at least one active shooter drill each semester to help better prepare students, teachers and staff.

Mental health screenings, risk behavior surveys and dedicated counselors would also be made more available to students through this legislation. This would help schools become more aware of any additional resources they should be offering. The measures taken would help prevent incidents and appropriately prepare school personnel to respond and react if they occur.

As a former law enforcement official, I understand that providing immediate medical attention to the injured in the event of an emergency is critical to saving lives. While prevention is important, we must also be ready to act in the rare event that someone is injured. Uncontrolled post-trauma bleeding is the leading cause of death among trauma patients, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. An additional piece of legislation would provide adequate resources, such as first aid kits and medical training, which would help school staff administer immediate medical attention. By implementing the “Stop the Bleed” initiative in the state, school personnel would be trained, equipped and empowered to give help in a bleeding emergency until paramedics arrive.

Indiana has invested in school safety and security policies, and this legislation is a part of that ongoing effort. To learn more about House Bill 1004, visit iga.in.gov. Your opinions matter, and as proposals for new laws progress through the process, let’s stay connected. For questions or input, please call 317-234-9999 or email H31@iga.in.gov.

-30- 

State Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) represents House District 31,

which includes all of Blackford County and portions of Delaware,

Grant and Wells counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.