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Seymour Schools Contemplating Safety Measures

The Seymour Community School District is working on its capital projects plan for the next three years.

Superintendent Rob Hooker says the first item on the district's list for 2014 is school safety and security. The problem, he says, is money.

Currently, school districts can apply for a $35,000 state grant to help improve school security. Hooker says that in his opinion, the more urban school districts will have a leg-up over their rural counterparts in getting those grants. The reason he says is a condition that requires school districts to have a commission on school safety in place prior to applying for the grant. Hooker says districts inside of larger cities that utilize local police in their security plans likely already have these commissions, giving them an advantage in going after these funds.

Hooker went on to say that the grant money is not enough to make a real change in school security. He says the district currently employs one school resource officer at a cost of approximately $60,000 per year. He says a one-year grant will not allow them to hire an additional officer. The best the district could do would be equipment purchases or training. That said, Hooker stresses that they will go after the grant, as every extra dollar is better than nothing.

Hooker adds that if the Indiana Legislature thinks school safety is a real priority, then the body needs to appropriate the money to make a real difference.

"If it's that serious of a thing we need to do, then where's the money? Take it out of testing and give it to us for security," he said.

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 4:18:08 PM

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