Indiana’s top education leader is urging lawmakers to address school safety in the wake of a shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 dead.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick penned a letter to state and U.S. lawmakers Wednesday, outlining the state’s current policies regarding school safety and urging action.
“These efforts must include passing policies which decrease risks, providing support for social and emotional programs to address mental and behavioral health, and approving budgets that increase resources,” McCormick writes. “My office is ready to collaborate and participate in any discussions that address the safety and well-being of Indiana students. School safety is a very complex issue and requires a multifaceted approach to solutions.”
McCormick says the Indiana Department of Education wants state lawmakers to require charter and non-public schools to comply with the same safety requirements that public school corporations are held to. It’s too late to introduce new legislation during the 2018 session, but it’s possible the General Assembly could amend that language into an existing bill before the session’s scheduled end in mid-March.
Otherwise, McCormick does not explain what policies she would like to see implemented.
Students nationwide are planning walk-out demonstrations in March and April to urge officials to take action on gun regulations. McCormick says IDOE will communicate with Indiana districts about the demonstrations.
“Our goal is to heighten school leaders’ awareness of the climate and provide support and guidance to schools,” she writes.
Read the complete letter below: