The disconnect that commonly exists between school administrators and the individuals with the expertise in security and safety sometimes results in decisions that may not take all of the issues into consideration. For years, I’ve been trying to figure out how to bridge that gap between the people who need information, and the people who have it.
Last week I read an article about the Indiana School Safety Specialist Academy, and this may just be the answer – or at least a step in the right direction. Indiana law requires each school district to have one school safety specialist, which would mean a total of at least 300 trained individuals statewide. Because Indiana implemented the School Safety Specialist Academy in 1999, the state has 2,400 trained specialists, not including people who are no longer active in the field.
Training is administered by the Indiana Department of Education, with multiple days of “Basic Training” offered for first-year participants, followed by advanced continuing education. This allows specialists to be kept up to speed on new developments as more is learned about school safety.