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Panel votes to require armed protection at every Indiana public school

INDIANAPOLIS – The House Education Committee voted 9-3 Tuesday to require an armed school protection officer in every Indiana public school.

An amendment containing the language was added to Senate Bill 1, which address voluntary school resource officers.

School resource officers usually are full-time law enforcement officers assigned to a school from a local law enforcement agency to focus on overall school safety.

But they aren’t required by law, and it is estimated only one quarter to one third of Indiana school corporations have resource officers.

The bill also now includes a mandate for a school protection officer in each school who must be on the property during regular school hours and carry a loaded firearm.

That person could be a teacher or other school employee who has undergone additional training. Or the district might have to hire someone though there is no funding in the bill to cover that.

“This is about safety against people who want to come into schools and kill people,” said Rep. Woody Burton, R-Whiteland. “We want someone trained to stop them before they kill 25 people.”

nkelly@jg.net

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