McNamara’s legislation to protect students signed into law

Posted by: Victoria Klimczak  | Tuesday, May 15, 2018 1:32 pm

STATEHOUSE (May 15, 2018) — Gov. Eric Holcomb on Monday signed into law legislation authored by State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) putting more protections in place for Hoosier students.

House Enrolled Act 1230 appropriates up to an additional $5 million to the Indiana Secured School Safety Grant Fund. McNamara said this is in addition to the $45 million already allotted to support initiatives to keep schools safe and secure.

“Ensuring school safety is an issue at the forefront of our country right now,” McNamara said. “This is a complex problem with no simple solution, but taking a multifaceted approach can help better protect our students.”

Under the new law, school safety specialist training will include information on identifying, preventing and intervening in actions by a person on school property who has the intent to harm others. Additionally, the secured school safety board will conduct a review and submit a report and recommendations to the Legislative Council, and each school corporation’s safety plan will be subject to a required audit.

Protocol in the event of an unplanned fire alarm is also updated to allow an employee to barricade or block a door for up to three minutes while the fire alarm is investigated by a designated school official. McNamara said this is to prevent the tactics like the one used in the Parkland tragedy.

The law also implements efforts to protect students against the dangers of human trafficking. McNamara said in 2016 alone, nearly 180 human trafficking victims were identified in Indiana. House Enrolled Act 1230 requires certain employees of a school corporation to receive at least one hour of in-service training on identifying, reporting and prevention of human trafficking.

“We want to give educators and schools the tools to protect their students,” McNamara said. “Ensuring teachers have access to the training and resources needed to recognize the warning signs can help save young Hoosiers and combat human trafficking.”

McNamara said the law includes another protection for students by adding cellphones to the definition of cyberbullying and requiring the Department of Education, State Board of Education and school corporations to clearly identify resources for cyberbullying and human trafficking prevention on their website.

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State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) represents House District 76,
which includes portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.

A high-resolution photo of McNamara can be downloaded by clicking here.