Mt. Vernon School District, Indiana – Mt. Vernon, IN
In 2008, the Mt. Vernon School District increased school safety through the addition of safety equipment, the presence of law enforcement officers in rural schools, and the improvement of communication between schools, parents, and law enforcement. Through its Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) initiative, the district made its 44 schools safer by putting into action a structured school-safety audit checklist, safety equipment, and School Resource Officers (SROs) in all three of its counties.
In spring 2013, the district surveyed its school principals about the changes. More than 85 percent of them agreed that the SS/HS initiative had a significant role in improving safety and preventing violence in their schools. Findings showed a significant drop in the number of physical fights on campus, as well as a reduction in the number of students suspended for violent or disruptive behaviors off campus.
“The Newtown, Connecticut school shooting reinforced the necessity to have doors locked at school entrances, policies regarding visitors entering the schools, and school safety equipment. The Safe Schools/Healthy Students program assisted us in establishing safe school-entrance procedures in our rural schools.” —Cynthia Smith, SS/HS Project Director, Mount Vernon School District