LAKEVILLE, IN. - The Union-North United School Corporation has added a layer of safety to both LaVille Jr.-Sr. High School and LaVille Elementary.
In light of shootings that include schools around the country, Union-North United School Corporation is taking steps to protect staff, students and patrons.
"The addition of the 3M Safety Film that has been applied to the windows and doors at both LaVille Elementary and Junior and Senior High Schools which will give us a strong piece of mind and security when it comes to protecting our students, staff and guests," said LaVille Director of Safety and Student Services Kevin Kubsch. "The film is not bullet resistant but a barrier that forces an intruder from gaining quick access to our facilities. Studies have shown that perpetrators attempt to cause as much mayhem in as short period of time as possible. If they are not able to access a particular area quickly, they will move on to another area. The 3M Film is designed so that it delays their access which gives us more time to utilize our safety procedures in locking down and securing our facilities as well as giving Law Enforcement more time to respond and to deal with the threat."
According to Kubsch, the UNUSC was able to use monies from a grant Secured School Safety Grant to help with the project.
Since being signed in to law in 2013, the Indiana Secured School Safety Grant (SSSG) program has served as a critical resource to ensure Hoosier schools are safe and secure. The program has delivered more than $53 million in matching grants to Indiana school districts across the state to address potential safety threats and help them prepare. The program supports a dedicated state grant fund that provides matching grants to school corporations, accredited non-public schools, charter schools or a coalition of school corporations and/or charter schools applying jointly to:
- Employ a school resource officer (salary, benefits and basic 40-hr training course);
- Conduct a threat assessment; and/or
- Purchase equipment to restrict access to the school or expedite the notification of first responders.
Legislation passed during the 2019 General Assembly expanded the parameters of the fund, adding additional items eligible for reimbursement from the state and changed the funding formula to allow more schools to access the fund. More than $19 million was appropriated in the budget for FY20-21 to support the SSSG program.
Additional changes currently being implemented include:
- Streamlining the school resource officer requests to a single grant (SSG) and allowed for the employment of a law enforcement officer in that role
- Requiring schools conduct a threat assessment by July 1, 2021, to be eligible for the grant
- Lowering the matching requirement for the fund to allow smaller schools to participate
- Creating a new funding formula
- Allowing the SSSG to fund firearms training in districts that choose to implement such programs
- Supporting the implementation of a student and parent support services plan in the manner set forth in IC 20-34-9
- Funding the startup costs for an active event warning system for schools
"This was the first project that I was involved in when I was hired," said Kubsch. "With the funds that were available through Secured School Safety Grant we spent $83,000 in placing the 3M Film on all lower level windows and doors that are in both schools."
Union-North United School Corporation Superintendent Mitch Mawhorter feels the 3M product will ultimately be a wise investment as the UNUSC looks toward improving security moving forward.
"Our school believes that safety is our number one responsibility, and we have really ramped up our efforts with the addition of Kevin Kubsch last November," said Mawhorter. "We want to give ourselves every opportunity to get into our safety plans if an active intruder situation happened. Our team feels if we can use the 3M product to give us valuable seconds against an intruder, then the money is well spent."