Indiana lawmakers in Senate call for school safety study committee

A view inside the Indiana Senate during the 2018 session. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In the wake of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, lawmakers in Indiana want to create tangible tools to keep children safe at Hoosier schools.

One lawmaker’s proposal has gained the support of a committee in the state Senate. The resolution calls for a complete review, basically urging lawmakers to quote “do whatever is necessary to protect Hoosier children in our schools.”

The deadly South Florida school shooting on Feb. 14 remained fresh in the minds of Indiana lawmakers on Monday.

The author of the resolution, state Sen. Jim Tomes, said, “We hear about the school shootings, which is horrible. But, there are shootings that occur every single night in our cities.”

Which is partly why the senator, a Republican from Wadesville in southern Indiana, wants a summer study committee made up of educators, law enforcement and the public, basically anyone who has solid ideas on how to make school safer, Tomes said.

He said, “We can look at some effective measures that could prohibit these incidents from happening or even confront them before they even get started.”

The resolution made it to the Senate floor Monday after a committee approved it Feb. 28. Some possible talkers among senators could include arming teachers or having educators take self-defense courses.

Tomes said, “It would never be mandated, but if those who would like to, we would remind them it’s not just a matter of handing a gun to a teacher. They would have to undergo a very intense training program, maybe moreso than what your typical law enforcement would undergo.”

Bottom line, Tomes said, a study committee would be a way for ideas to come from all corners of Indiana and hopefully find genuine ideas that work.

Another big part of the resolution has to do with mental health issues and what Tomes said is weeding out a problem before it happens.