Despite hearing testimony from nineteen community leaders and experts, the School Safety Interim Committee (SSIC) made no findings of fact and made no recommendations. SSIC was authorized by SEA 1 and was charged with studying how to improve the safety of schools in Indiana and the best practices for school resources officers. The Final Report of the School Safety Interim Study Committee (Final Report) summarizes the work of the SSIC at the two meetings held on August 29, 2013, and September 24, 2013. Individual legislators indicated they were exploring legislation on statewide safety standards for school construction and expanding the self-defense statute to events on school property. The authorization for the SSIC ends on December 31, 2013.
This result is a missed opportunity to offer guidance on keeping our students safe while ensuring that school resource officers do not put more children on the school-to-prison pipeline.
For a brief overview of the issue nationally, see this article. Lisa Thurau is interviewed for the article, and her group, Strategies for Youth, trained law enforcement officers in Marion County this past year. Her website has a detailed bibliography on police officers and juveniles.
Previous posts from this blog concerning school resource officers include: