January 23, 2019

Bill Would Partner Seniors, Students to Improve School Safety

Over two dozen bills were filed to improve school safety –– including bills addressing school busses, teacher training and mental health programming. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Over two dozen bills were filed to improve school safety –– including bills addressing school busses, teacher training and mental health programming.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Some lawmakers want to connect seniors with students to improve school safety. 

The House Education Committee approved a bill Wednesday to create a program that would partner volunteers 55 years or older with students. 

Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville) authored the bill. He says it could improve social and emotional support in schools, and ultimately, make them safer.

"I think as we grow relationships with our seniors in our schools and our teachers, that’s our three-legged stool," Goodrich said. "An ounce of prevention is absolutely worth a pound of cure."

Three types of schools –– urban, suburban and rural –– would each be eligible to receive a $75,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Education. Volunteers in the program would also be eligible for tax deductions.

Tara Johnson, a Purdue University education professor, testified in support of the bill.  She said the flexibility of the bill would allow school corporations to use volunteers how it sees fit. 

"What I love about it is the focus on, or the understanding, that relationship is key," Johnson said. 

The bill is one of over two dozen bills in the legislature that address school safety, partly in response to the Noblesville West Middle School shooting last year. 

During committee, the bill was amended to allow volunteers the flexibility to work half-days. 

Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.

 

 

Related News

Additional funding proposed for city budget to help pay for post-secondary education in Indianapolis
Indiana will tax loan forgiveness, similar to other states
Indiana court sides with Catholic diocese in teacher firing