Messmer Column: Protecting Indiana's Students

Local Sources- On this week's Messmer Column, State Senator Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) discusses protecting Indiana's students.

It's that time of year again when parents around the state start buying new school supplies and outfits for their children in preparation for the new school year.

Making sure Hoosier children are safe at school is important in ensuring they get the best education possible.

The General Assembly has continuously worked to help make schools even safer so parents don't have to worry about their children in the classroom.

Earlier this year, legislators increased funding for the Indiana Secured School Safety Grant program by more than $5 million in each of the next two years, totaling $49.2 million in the new budget.

This program was created in 2013 and has awarded about $133 million to Indiana schools to help increase security.

During the recent legislative session, the General Assembly also expanded the list of resources that can be funded by the school safety grant program through House Enrolled Act 1492. This list includes digital mapping of building floor plans, threat assessments and fire detection equipment.

The new law also requires Indiana's 92 counties to establish a County School Safety Commission by the end of this calendar year. These commissions will coordinate and make safety recommendations to schools located in their county.

House Enrolled Act 1492 unanimously passed the General Assembly earlier this year and has been signed by the governor.

While I believe this law will help keep Hoosier students safe, we must continue to keep school security at the forefront of discussions. This is why I will continue to support measures that protect our children in Indiana schools.

As always, feel free to contact my office directly with your questions and concerns by email at [email protected] or by phone at 800-382-9467.