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Fort Wayne Community Schools safety referendum passes

Ella Abbott
A student passes through an open air weapons detector at South Side High School on October 24, 2023. South Side has a pilot of the SAFER program implemented.

Fort Wayne Community Schools safety referendum passed yesterday with a vote of 53% yes to 46% no, according to Allen County’s unofficial election results.

The referendum, called SAFER Fort Wayne Community Schools, is a combination of safety and wellness initiatives to address violence in schools.

Superintendent Mark Daniel said he thinks the referendum resonated with voters because it’s proactive.

“This is about not reacting after a catastrophe, this is about how do we work today, proactively, to prevent? But also build leadership in our youths and empower our students,” Daniel said

Daniel said the work begins as early as today. The referendum will help the district implement safety measures such as open air weapons detection systems and school resource officers, as well as wellness initiatives like more mental health therapists in the middle and high schools.

The referendum will give the district a maximum of $12 million over an eight-year period.

A homeowner with an average-valued home would pay around an additional $6 a month.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.
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