Protecting Our Students and Teachers

Last month, a tragic mass shooting occurred at a school in Florida, and since then, preventing gun violence has become a renewed topic of discussion nationwide. It is important for Warrick County residents to know that Indiana has a number of policies in place to help protect our students and teachers.

As a psychiatric provider I see the direct  effects that these violent acts have on our community.  I  will work with local officials, in my role as council woman, to support and ensure that Warrick County makes use of every opportunity to use the funding  and services that our state offers to help provide for our children’s physical safety and mental well-being.

Indiana is one of five states that has a “Red Flag” law, which has been in place since 2005 and is now being considered as a model for other states.    The “Red Flag” law allows police to temporarily confiscate firearms,  without court supervision,  from people who are threatening to harm themselves,  or others,  and those who have problems with severe emotional instability.  No warrant or judge’s signature is necessary.  The law also carries protections for citizens concerned about any limitation on their Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights to ensure that officers cannot wrongly abuse their ability to seize guns.

This law addresses the immediate need of protecting people with significant mental impairment but also has safeguards for the court to review whether an individual should have the firearms returned.

In addition to the “Red Flag” law, there are  other  resources available for Indiana school districts, including grant funding, school safety specialists and active shooter training.

Grant funding:

In 2013 the General Assembly created the Secured School Grant Fund.  The fund, which has provided $39 million to more than 300 school corporations, charter schools and nonpublic schools since its creation, distributes funds to be used for safety equipment and technology, school resource officers and property threat assessments.   In addition last week  Gov. Eric Holcomb called for $5 million to $7 million in additional money for school resource officers and other programs.

You can learn more about that program here:    http://www.in.gov/dhs/securedschoolsafety.htm

School safety specialists:

Indiana is one of only two states that requires its school districts to employ a certified safety specialist, and the Indiana Department of Education provides annual training to ensure the specialists are able to perform their duties.

Active shooter training:

The Indiana State Police provide a free, nationally recognized training program that focuses on active-shooter preparedness to schools, businesses and community groups upon request.

I ask that you please help support me to in this effort to bring change to Warrick County.  You can make a donation by clicking  on the link below or if you prefer to mail a donation please mail to :  Committee to Elect Cindy Ledbetter 7277 Marywood Drive Newburgh, Indiana 47630.

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