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School Safety Bill Passes Without Armed Personnel Mandate

The Indiana House Monday passed a school safety bill minus a controversial provision that could have required schools to arm teachers and principals.

The school safety bill creates a $10 million grant fund Indiana schools can use to evaluate existing school safety measures, purchase safety equipment or hire school resource officers –law enforcement with extra training for work in the school environment. 

The measure does not contain a provision mandating schools employ armed personnel, which could have included teachers or principals.  That portion was removed by the House last week. 

But Seymour Republican Representative Jim Lucas, who inserted the armed personnel language into the bill, says schools are just as defenseless now as they were 14 years ago when the Columbine school shooting took place.

“A person that is committed to doing these acts…there’s really only one way to stop them and that is to have on-site, active defense,” Lucas said.

Lucas says he looks forward to a continued study of the issue this summer.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.