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Call 6: How Indiana schools prepare for shooters

Posted at 4:56 PM, Dec 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-17 20:46:58-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Threats of gun violence at multiple Central Indiana school districts Thursday prompted parents to ask what schools are supposed to be doing to keep children safe in an active shooter situation.

Call 6 Investigates contacted the Indiana Department of Education and found school corporations statewide are required to have an emergency preparedness plan, including language addressing active shooter situations.

If a parent wants to get a copy of a school’s emergency preparedness plan, they likely won’t be able to, because the plans are exempt from public disclosure for security reasons.

“However, families should know that school corporations are required to include provisions that address active shooter/weapons scenarios, student disturbances, and hostage situations to name a few,”  said Samantha Hart, spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Education.

RELATEDWATCH: Inside Indiana State Police active shooter training | State police open active shooter training to public

Every school is also required to conduct emergency preparedness drills, including at least one “manmade occurrence disaster drill” each semester, according to the state.

Local school boards also have the option to require additional drills.

“Additionally, every school corporation is required to have at least one certified school safety specialist who has gone through extensive training to lead the development and implementation of school safety practices in order to provide a safe educational environment for all students,” said Hart. “Through this training, all certified school safety specialists have received information on active shooter situations, and many have participated in live, in-school drills with law enforcement.”

The state currently has more than 2,000 certified school safety specialists throughout the state.

Danville Community School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Tracey Shafer provided Call 6 Investigates with a copy of their emergency preparedness plan, but did not want the information publicly released.

Dr. Shafer uses handouts and videos to train staff on active shooters, and said the school corporation is planning additional training with law enforcement for later this month.

“A live active shooter training was held at the high school in the summer of 2013,” said Dr. Shafer. “Additionally, all camera systems at Danville Community High School have been reconfigured this year and each building has electromagnetic locks on doors with a camera buzz in system at primary entrances.”

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