Armed employee requirement faces changes
By Matt Mikus firstname.lastname@example.org April 8, 2013 2:23PM
Updated: May 10, 2013 6:15AM
INDIANAPOLIS — After amending the school resource officer changes in the House, another committee might decided to remove a requirement of having an employee armed during school hours.
The House Ways and Means committee heard testimony Monday on the recently amended bill that would require all public and charter schools to have an employee trained and armed with a loaded gun during school hours.
The bill passed the Senate as a way to establish “school resource officers,” training programs around the state, but it was changed in the House to require that each school have an officer on school grounds.
Officers could be any school employee who receives training from a law enforcement agency.
Limited testimony was conducted, with many speaking out against the mandate.
Margaret Blythe, a pediatrics professor at Indiana University, said she understands the intent of trying to protect students.
“We all want to do something to prevent these tragic events from ever happening again,” Blythe said, but was concerned about putting more guns in the school environment.
“Anyone with a gun in a school setting is a bad idea.”
The second leading cause of death for children are gun-related, Blythe said, according to recent data from the Center for Disease Control.
Both Gov. Mike Pence and State Superintendent Glenda Ritz have spoken against recent changes, saying that the decision to have an armed employee should not be mandated, but a choice of the individual schools.
The committee may amend or vote on the bill Tuesday.