S.O.S. Noblesville was founded in February 2018 following the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. Our mission was originally one of "Safety and security. Being proactive, not reactive." That was our vision and everyone’s hope for Noblesville Schools. Sadly, in spite of our best hopes and efforts to be proactive, even after presenting to the Noblesville School Board on March 20, we are now regretfully reacting to the latest school shooting that took place in our own community, at Noblesville West Middle School on May 25, 2018.
We have been searching for viable options that meet the Indiana Department of Homeland Security guidelines per Public Law 27. Please note the areas highlighted in yellow. The Indiana Sheriffs Association (ISA) considers these guidelines "Best Practice." In addition to the provided hyperlinked video, you may also review the ISA Best Practice document.
School shootings/violence is the defining moral issue of our time. We are concerned Noblesville parents, grandparents, educators and citizens, just like you, and we know there is more that can be done to secure our schools. We’ve gathered ideas, researched various security systems, and have personally reached out to state law enforcement, state and local political leaders, and the innovative companies that have invented and implemented systems here in Indiana to help better ensure our children’s safety.
True school security is like an onion. It requires multiple layers to create an effective safety program. Any one solution is not enough, and is subject to failure.
The following procedures and protocols can be followed now:
*The schools need a single point of entry.
*No one should be allowed to enter the school during passing periods.
*Schools need to allow for longer passing periods between classes, which allows for students to get what they need from their lockers, use the restroom, and other needs, thus reducing the need or reasons for unaccompanied students wandering the hallways during class periods.
*In the rare occasion a student does have to leave the classroom during the class period, a staff member should accompany the student to where they need to go (e.g., locker, nurse, restroom, etc.).
*During the passing periods, every teacher stands by his/her open classroom door observing the students, which is considered a best practice. *They are constantly scanning their area for any perceivable threat during passing periods.
*(These are just a few protocols that can be put in place)
If you follow our vision and approach for securing our school buildings and keeping our children safe, we urge you to consider signing in show of your support. After carefully researching various security systems, we are focusing on an Emergency Response System that provides for all of the recommended guidelines as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, and is considered "Best Practice" by the Indiana Sheriffs' Association.
*Real time communication with Law Enforcement
*School looks ‘normal,’ but has ballistic windows and doors\locks.
*Every classroom is a ‘safe room.’
*Endorsed by the Department of Homeland Security
*Endorsed by the Indiana Sheriff’s Association
*Endorsed by the Indiana State Attorney General
*Also acts as a fire deterrent
*Cameras throughout the system identifying the attack\attacker in real time
*No ongoing salary costs
*Every classroom\teacher can report their status immediately
*Every classroom can report if they have a student who needs medical attention
*Grants and subsidies available to help defray the cost
*Protects your child when you can’t
*Innovative, cutting-edge technology
*Provides a comprehensive solution, integrating both real time communication and bulletproof classrooms to protect our children and teachers
Our district has always been a leader in education. We were the first in Hamilton County to introduce technology and innovative learning such as iPads, the Miller Shift, Project Lead the Way (PLTW), the balanced calendar, and more. With our forward thinking approach, we’d like to ask for your support in petitioning our leaders to implement an Indiana tested and proven security system in all of our schools. Student and teacher/staff safety is our greatest priority. The reality is that everyone has his or her own idea on how to stop this growing tragedy in our society. However, we cannot ignore this growing epidemic, especially when there are viable options available to safeguard our schools. We need to secure our schools NOW and this is a viable, proven alternative that we can implement on a local level. We can no longer assume, “It would never happen here.” We must make every attempt to reduce violence and protect our children from these heinous acts. The time for action is now!
We realize that this is a fight that needs to be fought on many levels, including an increase in mental health funding, etc.
The Emergency Response System* we are advocating for is a life-saving tool, which the Indiana State Attorney General, The Indiana Sheriff’s Association, and many others have endorsed. It can be the foundation for an effective response plan, as well as vastly improve communication within the school, and in making that crucial call to law enforcement when literally every second counts. Saved time equals saved lives.
We hope to receive your support and want to provide you with the following details to help you make an informed decision to sign this petition. You may have recently seen this technology on TV, as one school in Indiana’s Shelby County is dubbed, “The Safest School in America.”
Virtual Command by Net Talon
The entire system is linked in to local police and dispatch in real time and each teacher in the school has a 'fob' that they wear that interacts with the system. When a teacher senses a threat of any kind, they activate their fob/control switch, and the entire system begins to alarm. Simultaneously, the local police and dispatch 911 receive the same alarm and a 'virtual map' of the entire school comes up. They can "see" every classroom and hallway. As soon as the alarm is activated, every teacher/employee in the building then activates their fob. 'Green' indicates their classroom is safe, 'red' indicates their classroom is under attack, and there is also an activation that notifies first responders, as well as the entire school, that they are safe but have a student who needs medical attention.
There are cameras throughout the school that can literally 'see' every door, hallway, entry and exit. Law enforcement instantly has a true picture, in real time, as to where the shooter or threat is located. The cameras, which literally see everything, are immediately brought up on this virtual map and are viewed in REAL time as the events are happening.
Dispatch relays real time, actionable intelligence to police responding to the scene.
All of the glass is ballistic glass. It is important to note that the windows and doors still look like 'normal' windows and doors, the school looks and feels like a normal building (not like a "fortress").
In addition, this system also acts as a fire safety system. It constantly monitors the temperature in all of the areas and rooms of the school. If it senses an area or room is getting too hot, it will immediately alarm and simultaneously notify the fire department as well as law enforcement. This also helps to eliminate what happened in Florida. In Florida, the shooter activated the fire alarm, then shot the kids as they streamed out in single-file.
The system also has a type of ‘gas’ countermeasures that can be deployed by law enforcement. The gas produces a thick fog and can be used to put out a fire. It can also be used to help 'push' an attacker where law enforcement wants them to go and makes potential targets invisible to the perpetrator, and causes spatial disorientation. It is important to note that this countermeasure is deployed by trained law enforcement if they determine the situation necessitates its use.
On average, the cost is $400,000 to install one system. To add Virtual Command to all of the schools in our district may seem like an unachievable goal. However, there are no ongoing salary costs (like with metal detectors). The overall price, compared to what we’ve paid for additional gyms and complexes for our schools is minimal. Another point to consider is that insurance companies usually give a (approximately $20,000) discount to the schools for having a system like this in place. There are also grants and subsidies available to help defray the cost.
Lastly, once a shooting event has happened at a school, the school is considered a “crime scene” and no one can enter/have classes. Once the event is over, the school is usually demolished because students and teachers cannot bring themselves to reenter the building, for obvious reasons. With tragic and catastrophic events like this, the school system is greatly at risk of being sued by each individual family. Whether or not you and I agree with this or not, it is still a reality and this costs millions.
There is strength in numbers and I can’t imagine any greater concern than the safety and security of our children, and educators, as we try to navigate through this difficult time in our society. Please encourage your friends, family, and local politicians to review and sign our petition to make our schools safe for students, staff, and faculty as well!
(Please note, we are in no way affiliated with or compensated for recommending this system. We are simply concerned Noblesville parents, grandparents, educators, and citizens that do not want to be complacent, just like you.)
Thank you for your support!!