NewsEducation / March 4, 2019

All The School Safety Bills Proposed At The Statehouse This Year

After shootings in two Indiana schools in 2018, lawmakers across the state are proposing legislation aimed at making Hoosier students safer. Here are the measures they'll debate and vote on this session.2019 legislative session, school safety2019-03-04T00:00:00-05:00

(WFIU-WTIU)

Published Jan. 14. Updated March 4.

CARTER BARRETT AND BECCA COSTELLO

Lawmakers introduced and debated dozens of measures aimed at making Hoosier students safer after school shootings in two Indiana schools last year.

Several of these bills are similar, but assigned to different committees with different authors. Often this strategy will increase the likelihood a bill will be heard in committee and continue forward to be voted on.

The session is about halfway done and several bills didn’t make it out of committee. Here are all the school safety bills introduced at the Statehouse this session.

Note: follow complete 2019 legislative session coverage on our dedicated page.

* indicates the bill has died.

Mental Health

* SB 267: Integrated school based mental health - died in committee

Author: Sen. Randall Head (R-Logansport)

Description: This bill establishes a grant program to provide grants to school corporations for the development, implementation, and maintenance of integrated school based mental health and substance use disorder services plans.

Actions:

SB 266: Dogs trained to detect firearms - Integrated school based mental health

Author: Sen. Randall Head (R-Logansport)

Description: Amends Safe Schools Fund to include use of dogs that detect firearms and explosives, expanding on dogs already being used to search for drugs. Also may require a school corporation to "match" grant money received from the Secured School grant.

New description: This bill establishes a grant program to provide grants to school corporations for the development, implementation, and maintenance of school based mental health and substance use disorder services plans. Requires a teacher preparation program to include content concerning school safety. Requires the commission on improving the status of children in Indiana to develop the children's social, emotional, and behavioral health plan to provide recommendations concerning; (1) comprehensive mental health services; (2) early intervention; and (3) treatment services; for individuals from birth to age 22. Urges the legislative council to assign a study committee the task of studying school districts that have (1) implemented trauma informed approaches in the school districts; and (2) worked with community partners to provide systems of care for students.

Actions:

* SB 326: Integrated school based mental health - died in committee, language added to SB 266

Author: Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield)

Description: This bill establishes a grant program to provide grants to school corporations for the development, implementation, and maintenance of integrated school based mental health and substance use disorder services plans. Requires the department of education, in coordination with the division of mental health and addiction, to administer the program.

Actions:

* SB 354: Mental health education and screenings - died in committee

Author: Sen. Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond)

Description: Requires a school corporation's health education curriculum to include mental health wellness education. Provides that the governing body of a school corporation may provide mental health screenings to students if the governing body receives written consent from a student's parent or guardian to provide a mental health screening to the student. Requires the Department of Education to provide a school corporation with resources regarding mental health wellness upon request by the school corporation.

Actions:

SB 359: Individualized mental health safety plans

Author: Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield)

Description: This measure is more broadly aimed at mental health and addiction care. It requires the division of mental health and addiction to establish a standard format for individualized mental health safety plans. Among other things, it requires each psychiatric treatment provider to make a good faith effort before a patient leaves a facility at which the patient is receiving care to obtain the patient's consent to disclose the patient's individualized mental health safety plan with mental health providers, integrated school based mental health providers, and mental health community paramedicine programs that will be supporting the patient's safe transition back into the community and, if applicable, school.

Amendment: The psychiatric treatment provider may only disclose a patient's mental health safety plan without the patient's consent if the provider determines the patient is a danger to themself or another person.

Actions:

  • Assigned to Senate Health and Provider Services Committee
  • Passed out of committee Feb. 7.
  • Amendment passed on Senate floor Feb. 25.
  • Passed the full Senate with a 49-0. Referred to the House.

* HB 1250: Secured school fund for student services - died in committee

Author: Rep. Steven Davisson (R-Salem)

Description: Specifies that grants from the Indiana secured school fund may be used to provide services designed to support the social, emotional, mental health, and addiction needs of students, including the hiring of social workers, mental health counselors, addiction counselors, and other appropriate personnel.

Actions:

* SB 427: Student mental health and safety - died in committee

Author: Sen. Randall Head (R-Logansport)

Description: Adds providing grants for integrated, school based mental health services for students to the purposes of the Indiana Safe Schools fund and Indiana secured school fund. Adds the school mental health specialist or the mental health provider for each school corporation to the membership of the county school safety commission. Expands the membership of the secured school safety board to include the director of the division of mental health and addiction or the director's designee.

Actions:

Firearms

* SB 102: Using state funds for firearms training - died in committee

Author: Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Evansville)

Description: Expands the use of a matching grant from the Indiana secured school fund by a school corporation or charter school to allow the school to use the matching grant to provide a response to a threat in a manner that the school sees fit, including the use of firearms training or other self-defense training.

Actions:

* HB 1129: Training requirements for armed teachers - died in committee

Author: Rep. Chris Judy (R-Columbia City)

Description: Provides that, after Dec. 31, 2019, a person must be certified by an association or other entity approved by the school safety board in order to be authorized by a school board to legally possess a firearm in or on school property.

Actions:

  • Assigned to the Education Committee.
  • Did not get a hearing before the deadline to pass out of committee.

HB 1253: Handgun training for teachers

Author: Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour)

Description: Creates an optional specialized firearms safety, education, and training curriculum for teachers and school staff. Authorizes funds from the Indiana safe schools fund to be used for curriculum related expenses. Provides that a person responsible for a justified use of force on school property is immune from civil liability and damages, including punitive damages, for any act or omission related to the person's justified use of force in certain instances.

Actions:

Responding to an Active Event

HB 1225: Active event warning system

Author: Rep. Gregory Steuerwald (R-Avon)

Description: This measure allows school corporations and charter schools to partner with the local sheriff's office to apply for a grant from the secured school fund to set up an active event warning system. Requires guidelines published by the Department of Homeland Security to include information about implementing: (1) universal electronic access to school property for law enforcement in all schools within each county; and (2) access to closed circuit cameras from a central location to be used in an emergency situation.

Actions:

HB 1063: Stop the Bleed programs

Author: Rep. Randall Frye (R-Versailles) and Rep. Brad Barrett (R-Richmond)

Description: Each school corporation and charter school shall develop and implement a Stop the Bleed program; Requires a school's safety plan to include the location of bleeding control kits.

Actions:

Funding for School Safety

HB 1004: Funding for School Resource Officers

Author: Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Solitude)

Description: This bill defines which pots of state funding can pay for a school resource officer (SRO).

Previously, a grant from the Indiana Safe Schools Fund could be used for this purpose; in fiscal year 2018, about $444,000 from this fund was used for SROs. The bill says this fund can no longer be used to employ a SRO.

The bill says instead, schools could use funds from the Indiana secured school fund grants to employ a SRO. According to the fiscal analysis, the bill could potentially increase total grants to schools by $1.6 million.

Expands grant funds to include providing mental health or social emotional wellness resources in schools.

Bill pushes school district participation in a Centers for Disease Control survey on youth risk behavior.

Actions:

SB 127: Referendum for school safety levy

Author: Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Bluffton), Sen. James Merritt (R-Indianapolis)

Description: Allows a school corporation to adopt a resolution to place a referendum on the ballot to impose a school safety referendum tax levy to improve school safety. Allows a school corporation to impose a school safety referendum tax levy if approved by a majority of the voters. School districts can already use funds from an operations referenda for school safety –– as Noblesville Schools did in November –– but this bill would require specific uses from the funds.

Amendment: Allows a school corporation or charter school to use money received under a matching grant from the secured school fund in any way they see fit including firearms training or other self-defense training.

Actions:

School Bus Safety

Three bills, one in the House and two in the Senate, would increase penalties for a driver who recklessly passes a school bus with the stop arm extended.


SB 02

Author: Sen. Randall Head (R-Logansport)

Description: It would increase the penalty from Class A infraction to Class C misdemeanor for driver who fails to stop when school bus arm extended. Would require courts to suspend the person's driving privileges for 90 days, or for one year if the person has at least one previous school bus arm offense. Increases the penalty for recklessly passing a school bus with stop arm extended to a Level 6 felony if the action results in injury, and a Level 5 felony if the action results in death.

Requires each school corporation, charter school, or accredited nonpublic school that provides transportation for students must review each school's bus routes and bus safety policies.

This bill also includes a provision that bus drivers could not allow students to cross state highways to get on or off a bus.

Action:


* HB 1079 - died in committee

Author: Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Perrysburg)

Description:  The bill would increase the level of crime to a Class A misdemeanor or a Level 6 felony if a driver passes a school bus with the stop arm down and causes bodily injury.

Actions:

* SB 327 - died in committee, language added to SB 02

Author: Sen. Mike Bohacek (R-La Porte)

Description: It would increase the level of crime to a Class B misdemeanor, or a Class A misdemeanor if it causes bodily injury. Also allows a court to suspend driving privileges for any driver who meets or overtakes from any direction a school bus stopped to load or unload a student when the arm signal device is extended.

Actions:

Background Checks

* HB 1169: Child care background checks - died in committee

Author: Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Marion)

Description: Requires certain individuals who may be present on the premises of a child care facility during operating hours to meet requirements for national criminal history background checks. Specifies that results of the required background checks may be used as grounds for denial or revocation of a child care license, registration, or eligibility for a child care and development fund voucher payment.

(Current law applies background check requirements to individuals who have direct contact with children.)

Action:

HB 1089: “Education Matters”

Author: Rep. Jeffrey Thompson (R-Brownsburg)

Description: Provides that if a child care center is located in a charter school, a nonpublic school that has at least one employee, or a school operated by a school corporation, the child care center may satisfy the requirements for criminal history background checks by obtaining an expanded criminal history check that is required for schools.

Amended description: Adds provisions about school corporations accepting transferring students, notification of a student diagnosed with a seizure disorder, and professional development training for teachers.

Actions:

  • Assigned to House Education Committee.
  • Amended bill passes committee Feb. 18.
  • Amended bill passes full House Feb. 21 with 98-0 vote. Referred to Senate.

Safety Awareness

SB 325: Student safety awareness

Author: Sen. Randall Head (R-Logansport)

Description: Establishes the student safety awareness fund for the purpose of awarding grants to schools to fund public service announcements prepared by students to raise student awareness of personal safety issues. Provides that the Criminal Justice Institute administers the fund and awards grants from a fund of $150,000.

Actions:

HB 1224: School intergenerational safety pilot project

Author: Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville)

Description: Establishes the school intergenerational safety pilot project to foster positive youth development through intergenerational relationships between individuals who are at least 55 years of age and students to improve school safety. Provides that a school corporation selected by the Department of Education is eligible to receive a grant from the Indiana safe schools fund to administer the project and improve school safety. Individuals who volunteer are entitled to receive an adjusted gross income tax deduction.

Actions:

  • Assigned to House Education Committee.
  • Passes committee Jan. 10, reassigned to Ways and Means committee.
  • Passes second committee Feb. 11.
  • Passes full House Feb. 18 with 98-0 vote. Referred to Senate.

* SB 410: CDC Youth Risk Behaviors Survey - died in committee

Author: Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis)

Description: Requires the state department of health to notify the department of education if the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notifies the state department of health that a public high school is identified to participate in the CDC's Youth Risk Behaviors Survey. Provides that the department of education is required to notify the public high school that the school is required to participate in the survey. Requires a public high school to participate in the survey.

Actions:

  • Assigned to Health and Provider Services Committee.
  • Did not get a hearing before the deadline to pass out of committee.

Sharing Safety Records

HB 1398: Information concerning threats to school safety.

Description: Requires a law enforcement agency or private university police department to share private investigatory records with a school corporation, charter school, or nonpublic school for the purpose of enhancing the safety of a student or school facility, without losing the discretion to keep the records confidential from other records requesters.

Actions:

 

 

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