Several Jackson County schools recently received more than $260,000 through the state’s Secured Schools Safety Grant Program, according to local lawmakers.
State District 69 Rep. Jim Lucas said the local funding is part of this year’s record-breaking school safety investments totaling more than $22.9 million in matching state grants for 425 schools across Indiana.
“Securing a school is about so much more than just locking doors,” the Seymour lawmaker said. “Alarms, on-site resource officers, volunteer firearms training and other measures play a substantial role in keeping our children safe. These grants help Hoosier schools ensure they have safeguards in place in order to protect our most vulnerable.”
Jackson County schools receiving grant funds include:
-Brownstown Central Community School Corp., $84,560
-Crothersville Community School Corp., $21,600
-Medora Community School Corp., $19,017
-Seymour Community School Corp., $100,000
-St. John’s Sauers Lutheran School, $35,000
Medora plans to use its grant to employ a part-time school resource officer, while Brownstown Central will use the funds for the school resource officers.
“Marty Young does a great job for us in writing this grant,” Assistant Superintendent Jade Peters said of the elementary school principal. “We work closely with the town of Brownstown. Safety is a top priority for us, and we are thankful to receive this grant.”
Talmadge Reasoner, assistant superintendent of operations for Seymour Community School Corp., said the corporation utilizes the grant to provide four school resource officers for the district.
“Three of those SROs are provided through an agreement with Seymour Police Department and one is employed by SCSC and serves with special deputy status granted by Sheriff Rick Meyer through the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department,” Reasoner said. “These four officers work as a team to provide support and resources to our students and staff on a daily basis.”
He said the officers reinforce the schools’ all-hazards approach to school safety and are instrumental in helping to mitigate threats of all types, not just those that make headline news.
“Because they are members of our school community, they focus on building relationships with kids, staff and families, and that has proven most beneficial time and time again,” Reasoner said. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for the leadership of the Seymour Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and appreciate their continued commitment and support as we work together to keep our schools safe.”
State District 65 Rep. Chris May, R-Bedford, said funds can be used for resource officers and law enforcement officers in schools, equipment and technology, active event warning systems, firearms training for teachers and staff who choose to allow guns on school property, threat assessments and to implement a student and parent support services program.
“Maintaining a safe environment in our schools is essential,” May said. “These grants provide much-needed funding to help our local schools meet their security needs.”
State District 73 Rep. J. Michael Davisson, R-Salem, said as a parent of young children, he’s very sensitive to the issue of school safety and wants to make sure schools have the resources needed to provide a safe environment.
“It’s great to see them utilize this opportunity to receive state dollars and boost their efforts to protect students and staff,” he said.
In total, the state invested about $133 million in matching grants through the Secured School Fund, established through a 2013 law.
To learn more about Secured Schools Safety Grant Program and to sign up to receive updates about grants available through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, visit in.gov/dhs.