Ritz objects to recent changes in a school safety bill

Apr 3, 2013

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz does not agree with a recent change to a school safety bill that would require armed personnel in every Indiana public school.

A House committee Tuesday amended a Senate-approved school safety bill to create what the bill calls school protection officers (employees who must carry guns).  The definition includes teachers and principals.  The bill mandates a protection officer in each building, and that’s why State Superintendent Glenda Ritz said she doesn’t support it.

“I am for those types of decisions being made at the local level, at the school district level and they should be the ones determining the officers and the types of officers that are going to be in their schools,” said Ritz.

Avon Republican Senator Pete Miller, the bill’s original author, said the House change is not what he had in mind for his bill, but he’s not opposed to the concept.

“For me, I would be comfortable with that in my kids’ school, if there was someone with a gun, but this is the legislative process so we will see how the public reacts and if we get a lot of push back we’ll have to consider that,” Miller said.

Miller said if the bill passes the House, he isn’t sure whether he will agree to the changes or take the bill to conference committee for both houses to work out the details.