Charter schools should abide by public school rules to keep Indiana students safe

March 13, 2018 Vernon G. Smith

INDIANAPOLIS – House Bill (HB) 1230 would allow charter schools and non-public schools not to have safety specialists and safe school committees that public schools are required by law to have, according to State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary).

“Charter schools are public schools and should face the same requirements, especially when it comes to keeping their students safe,” said Smith.

“In its current form, this bill allows charter schools to avoid having safety specialists and safe school committees. The bill states that they and non-public schools will have to adopt a local school safety and emergency plan and provide a copy of the floor plants to law enforcement and the local fire department. However, they don’t have to go the extra steps traditional public schools do in order to ensure the safety of their students.

“Charter schools should absolutely abide by the same rules that traditional public schools do,” continued Smith. “Are the lives of public school students at charter schools less important than the lives of students at traditional public schools? It is not right to minimize the value of these students’ lives in order to save money for the groups running charter schools. If we are going to go through the motions of making schools safer, then let’s actually do it, instead of creating a façade to fool the citizens of Indiana.”

HB 1230 is in conference committee. The final day for consideration of bills is Wednesday, March 14.