A key lawmaker at the Indiana statehouse is urging other legislative leaders to focus more on school safety and is asking for an annual study committee on the issue.
House Minority Leader Terry Goodin (D-Austin) sent a letter to House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) this week, asking the legislative council to create a summer study committee on school safety that would meet every year.
Goodin says the state needs to focus more on preventing school violence – not just responding to it.
“Those are where the uncomfortable conversations come in about mental health, about who should be able to carry a firearm – I mean all of that kind of stuff – and those kind of conversations haven’t necessarily been had,” he says.
Goodin says the state has been a leader in school safety plans and response, and says in Noblesville that helped prevent more injuries. But he also pointed out the teacher to stop the shooter was a former college football player.
Goodin says having more talks in an official school safety committee would give lawmakers more information before passing new legislation, and keep them up-to-date on school safety developments elsewhere.
“Not just what’s going on in schools in Indiana, but we need to take a look at what’s going on in schools across the United States, and quite frankly, what’s going on around the world,” he says.
To do that effectively, he says it’s crucial to continue working with all stakeholders, beyond just teachers and law enforcement, and include students and families.
Goodin says he hopes the council decides to move forward with creating the committee, especially in light of widespread support for school safety funding legislation during this year’s one-day special legislative session.