News and Tribune

January 15, 2013

Schools get support for security

Jeffersonville helping Greater Clark; Horseshoe Foundation gives money to NA-FC

By JEROD CLAPP
jerod.clapp@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — Local school districts are getting a hand for school safety from police agencies and charitable organizations.

The New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. was approved for a $150,000 grant from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County in a partnership with the New Albany-Floyd County Education Foundation.

In a press release from the Horseshoe Foundation, the district’s director of elementary education, Michele Day, said the funding will help with various safety initiatives.

“I am thrilled for our students, our families and our schools,” Day said in the release. “I know we make every effort for our schools to be safe but there are so many unknowns in life. This funding will provide additional measures to keep our kids safe and make their families feel safe.”

New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan said in the release that he was happy to see an organization reach out to local schools.

“As a community, there is nothing more important than ensuring that our children are safe when parents send them off to school to learn,” Gahan said. “I am pleased that the foundation is able to partner with the school system in this critical initiative.

In Clark County, the city of Jeffersonville has partnered with Greater Clark County Schools to take a look at their procedures and facilities to find ways to improve safety.

Andrew Melin, superintendent, said in a release that he’s happy to have a partnership with local law enforcement for the benefit of the schools.

“There can be no guarantee that something like [the shooting a month ago at] Sandy Hook [Elementary] can’t happen locally,” Melin said. “But we can take steps to make our schools safer and our community stronger. We are looking at everything we can do to make our schools safer. 

“Representatives from our school district have met several times with local law enforcement and fire representatives since the shooting in Connecticut. We have reviewed the district’s existing crisis plan to determine ways to make improvements.”

The schools have already gone through intruder drills with Jeffersonville Police officers to see how the schools would respond in an emergency.

“Our department has met with school administrators to brainstorm ways to improve safety,” Chris Grimm Jeffersonville Police chief, said in a release. “They have been very receptive to our suggestions. Several measures have already been taken that are tightening up security at school buildings.”

Jeffersonville mayor Mike Moore said in a release that child safety is one of the community’s biggest duties.

“It’s important that we continue to have a strong partnership with our schools,” Moore said. “Parents deserve to know that their children are safe. The city is supporting the school system by providing them the resources necessary to improve safety. We have an obligation to keep our schoolchildren safe.”