Schools review security policies in wake of Newtown shooting

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After Friday’s deadly shooting in Newtown, Conn., some parents in Central Indiana have expressed concerns about security measures here.

“It makes me want to send my kids to school with, at least, a Taser or something,” said Brandy Ludlum, a mother whose three children attend Indian Creek Elementary School in Lawrence.

“I’m scared to death of my kids being at school now,” Ludlum said.

Ludlum expressed uneasiness, like many other parents, after 20 children and six adults were killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“I think every one of our schools could use more security—most definitely,” Ludlum said.

Ludlum would like to see more security and uniform policies at every school no matter what grade level. She suggested metal detectors as an example—and wants action now.

“I have to trust and believe they’re in good care,” she said. “It makes me want to home school my kids.”

Mary Louise Bewley with the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township said the staff looked at the district’s policy on the day of the shooting. She said they feel comfortable with it, pointing out that the township has resource officers at their secondary schools and off-duty firefighters who provide extra support and medical assistance. Each school has a crisis team.

“At each school, the crisis team is made up of different folks in the building that everyone knows their role. Teachers are trained in knowing, if an alarm goes (off) and we need to lock down (they know) what that means,” Bewley said.

Bewley said they review their safety plan yearly. She said their school system, like many others, wants parents to know their children are safe.

“Frankly, if there’s a maniac who is intent, I don’t know any place in the world that you can keep that from happening. But what we do have in place are safety pieces that should keep any kind of risk like that to a minimum,” Bewley said.

Since Friday’s shooting, many schools are reassuring parents about their plans and that children are safe.

Indianapolis Public Schools wrote, “All schools are locked, require any visitor to use only the main building entrance, require guests to enter the school through the main office and to sign in.” IPS also has protocols for staff members to follow if someone enters school with a gun. The district has its own police department.

Carmel Clay Schools posted information for parents on their website. The district has an anonymous alert system for parents and students and employs a school gate guardian system that helps track visitors.

Center Grove Community School Corporation posted a letter online saying they are reviewing their safety plans and procedures. The school system has six school safety specialists. If a door is not monitored continuously, it is locked. Staff members are trained.

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