NewsPublic Affairs / February 22, 2018

Ind. Attorney General Talks School Safety With President

Ind. Attorney General Talks School Safety With President

President Donald Trump listens as Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill speaks during a meeting with state and local officials to discuss school safety in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Washington.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Indiana’s attorney general is one of several who met with President Trump at the White House Thursday to discuss improving school safety in the wake of last week’s shooting in Florida.

Curtis Hill told President Trump some of the focus should be on properly equipping schools to prevent and respond to threats.

He says Southwestern High School in Shelbyville is a model for school security. In addition to bullet-proof doors and glass, the school is also wired directly to the sheriff’s department.

“Each teacher has a key fob so that when something occurs they can communicate effectively and immediately with someone off site,” Hill said.

“Do you have anybody inside with a gun who can take on the man that’s right outside the door that, by the way, can shoot right through those steel doors like the did in [Florida]?” Trump interrupted. “Those bullets went right through those steel doors like they were butter.”

“That’s a part of what’s necessary,” Hill replied. “But I can tell you what else they have are countermeasures.”

Hill says those countermeasures include smoke canisters, which the sheriff’s department can employ to distract the attacker.

Trump says schools need focus on adopting offensive measures moving forward.

Hill also says more states need red flag laws that allow them to take guns away from people they believe to be dangerous. Hill says Indiana is one of only five states with a red flag law.

It allows police to take guns away from people who present an imminent risk of injury to themselves or others, including people diagnosed with mental illnesses who failed to take prescription medication, or those with a documented history of violent or emotionally unstable behavior.
The law is more than a decade old.

“We just issued a public safety advisory [Wednesday] because what we learned is many of our prosecutors and police officers weren’t even aware that we had it,” Hill said.

Hill also encouraged states to enhance the penalties for any offense involving a gun.

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