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School Safety Officers Undergo First Post-Noblesville Training

McCormick: Schools need mental-health screening tools as well as security measures

(INDIANAPOLIS) - 12-hundred Indiana school security officers are in Indy for their annual training -- the first since a school shooting in Noblesville in May.

State school superintendent Jennifer McCormick acknowledges no amount of precautions will be completely effective. But she says the department is reviewing the Noblesville shooting to see what lessons might help prevent the next incident.

McCormick says that analysis is still in progress, and some conclusions won't be released publicly. But she says the state has discovered a need to streamline communications -- after a teacher and student were wounded at Noblesville West Middle School, schools from all over the state were calling the Department of Education seeking information.

The state has already provided nearly every school with handheld metal detectors. And a task force led by the Departments of Homeland Security and Education released additional recommendations last month. The state has already started putting together an anonymous tipline and a safety website. Governor Holcomb has said he's studying the cost of other recommendations and ways to pay it.

McCormick says there's a particular need for the report's proposed mental-health screening tool, to spot students with emotional or social issues that could bloom into a threat.

Indiana Congressman Jim Banks (R-3rd) and Senator Joe Donnelly (D) attended part of the training conference and pledged support for federal school safety funding. McCormick says Congress has already taken a step forward by changing a competitive grant program to one which awards money across the board based on a preset funding formula.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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