Schools in Indiana address violence - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Schools in Indiana address violence

Posted:
The American College of Physicians calls school shootings a "public health threat".

Lt. Eric Crittendon serves as Director of Security for South Bend Schools. He checks on primary schools like Perley Elementary on a daily basis to make sure kids are safe,

 "Anybody that doesn't have access control will have to buzz themselves,"  says Crittendon.

All primary schools in South Bend have building access systems where only staff can directly access the building using an electronic ID card. Students are supervised during arrival and dismissal. A nearly $50,000 state grant will put systems like this in our intermediate schools too.

He says school violence is something he talks about with his School Resource Officers every month. "We sit down we kind of table top some things, how effective it is.. if it's not effective how can we make it effective?" says Lt. Crittendon

Perley Elementary Principal Jill Vandriessche says they take all the precautions they can, but she's still unsure. "I'm not sure if anything can be done to stop it and the reason why is because the person that's doing it is planned out," Vandriessche says. 

She says the best they can do against a planned attack, is defend the school. But Lt. Crittendon says direct interaction with students and parents helps violence prevention.  Every South Bend high school has an SRO on campus, but for 8 intermediate schools, there are only 4. These officers play an important role at school. Not only do they enforce the law, but they teach it. SRO's assist in teaching classes that touch on law enforcement and show students why they should stay out of violent crime,

"The SRO program.. we want to bridge the gap between youth and law enforcement. that's basically what we're about. it's not about arresting students, it's about educating the students," says Crittendon. "I would like to see it expand to where we could have SRO's to in a lot more schools."

Governor Mike Pence just announced that over $9 million in state grants will go to amping up school security in Indiana.
Here is where the money is being allocated in our area:

Elkhart
· Baugo Community Schools was awarded $25,000 to employ an SRO and for equipment.
· Concord Community Schools was awarded $24,872 for equipment.
· Elkhart Community Schools was awarded $50,000 for equipment.
· Fairfield Community Schools was awarded $37,316 for equipment.
· Goshen Community Schools was awarded $50,000 for equipment.
· Middlebury Community School Corporation was awarded $45,647 for equipment.
· Wa-Nee Community Schools was awarded $50,000 to employ an SRO and for equipment.


LaGrange
· Lakeland School Corporation was awarded $50,000 for equipment.
· Prairie Heights Community School Corporation was awarded $49,441.50 to employ an SRO.
· Westview School Corporation was awarded $10,375 for equipment.


Pulaski
· Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation was awarded $17,302.43 to conduct a threat assessment and for equipment.

St. Joseph
· John Glenn School Corporation was awarded $27,000 to employ an SRO and for equipment.
· School City of Mishawaka was awarded $25,000 to employ an SRO.
· South Bend Community School Corporation was awarded $48,920 for equipment.
· Union-North United School Corporation was awarded $50,000 for equipment.
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