Indiana Governor Mike Pence signs Senate Enrolled Act 1 as school children and Indiana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz (standing to the governor's left) look on.
Governor Mike Pence Facebook
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - A bill that will help Indiana’s public schools hire police officers to guard school buildings has earned Governor Mike Pence's signature.
Pence signed Senate Enrolled Act 1 on Tuesday. The school safety bill was co-authored by State Senator Johnny Nugent (R-Lawrenceburg).
The legislation provides matching grants of up to $50,000 to assist schools in hiring a resource officer, conducting threat assessments, or purchasing safety equipment and technology.
In the wake of last December’s elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Pence says he believes the law gives schools the resources needed to make kids safer so teachers can focus on education.
"We have no higher priority than ensuring the safety of our children,” Pence said at a Statehouse bill signing ceremony with school children.
SEA 1 also outlines required training for school resource officers and establishes the Secured School Safety Board to evaluate local safety plans and develop best practices for school resource officers.
At one point during its course through the state legislature, the bill was amended to require every Indiana public school to have an armed staff member in the building during the school day. That controversial provision – which was criticized by Governor Mike Pence and other officials because it took school safety decisions away from local school district – was later removed.