Community members discuss ways to make Greenfield schools safer during board meeting

GREENFIELD, Ind. — Roughly 100 community members filed in to the Greenfield Central Jr. High School cafeteria for the Greenfield Central Community School Corporation school board meeting. The most anticipated topic of the evening: school safety.

Dr. Harold Olin, the superintendent of the district, started the discussion by telling the crowd that he and the board had been looking at options for making district schools safer since the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida. The shooting at Noblesville West Middle School only intensified those discussions.

The only community members to address the school board were Lauren Andrews, Rachel Crosby and Ashley Burke, who are spearheading an effort to add metal detectors to the entrances of all district schools.

“We would also like to suggest banning for grades four and up as they are using computers now,” Andrews said.

During their presentation, the women gave members of the school board a packet of information that included associated costs and ways to raise the funds necessary for implementation.

Greenfield Police Chief Jeff Rasche and Major Brad Burkhart of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office also addressed the crowd during the meeting. Both men told community members that they didn’t have all of the solutions for making schools invulnerable to shootings, adding that the solution likely lies in a combination of further securing school buildings, parenting and a focus on mental health. Both also told the crowd that they weren’t opposed to adding metal detectors to schools, but that they come with their own logistical challenges.

“The problem is getting through. I don’t know how many students we have here in our district, but a decent amount of students funneled into the building,” Rasche said.

After the meeting, superintendent Olin said the board would look at “all options” in determining the best course of action.

“We’re willing to make some changes that will make people uncomfortable if they’re the right changes,” Olin said.

Olin added that one thing the board will be looking to for guidance is the recommendations of the task force assigned by Governor Eric Holcomb. The recommendations of the task force, which includes the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, are expected to be released August 1.

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