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'You can't ever jeopardize safety and security for convenience': Avon, Wayne Township Schools discuss school safety after Texas shooting

school safety central indiana
Posted at 7:20 AM, May 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-28 07:20:44-04

INDIANAPOLIS— The tragedy in Texas has parents across the country questioning safety in our schools.

Locally, many things are being done to ensure the safety of your kids when they step foot into school.

Cameras and school resource officers are only a few of the measures being taken at Avon and Wayne Township Schools.

"You can't ever jeopardize safety and security for convenience," said Officer Richard Craig, the lead resource officer for Avon schools.

Craig said he knows parents trust in schools to keep kids safe while they're in the classroom.

"You have to be willing to put your safety in front of others, especially when it pertains to students and kids," he said. "Any visitor that comes up, we need to know why they're here — we can see who that is and really find out the reason for their visit before we open those doors and allow them into out secure environment."

At Avon High School every door is locked, including the entrances. Every person has to buzz in at the entrance and then a secretary asks a series of questions before granting them access to the building.

Teachers and administrative staff have key cards to enter but still have to type in a pass code.

Superintendent Dr. Jeff Butts with Wayne Township Schools says they have several cameras at all of their schools. They also have protective film on all of the windows so people can't see in.

"At our secondary schools we have a safe entry program. We do not do metal detectors for every student every day, but we have a safe entry program that is randomized," said Butts. He said that measure helps deter students.

Butts also addressed the shooting incident that happened in the parking lot outside of a football game at Ben Davis High School last season, saying they found breaches in their fence and have since fixed it.

RELATED: IMPD: Ben Davis suspect gave gun to 14-year-old accused in shooting, attempted carjacking | Man charged in shooting outside Ben Davis High school football game out on bond with GPS monitoring

He said every time there is an incident, they re-evaluate their safety plans. Both Wayne Township and Avon Schools said their biggest line of defense is the students.

"The most critical safety feature for us, the most critical safety tool that we have is our students really following the see something say something mantra we have and letting us know when they may have some information, when they may have a concern," said Butts.

Craig stressed the importance of being relationship based and building long term relationships with students. He says that makes students feel comfortable with reporting things and having open conversations with him and any member of the administrative staff.